Finished

We were in the woods behind the middle school, of course. Brad had swiped a pack of Vantage 100s from his mom’s purse. I was 12, Brad was 13. His birthdate, relative to mine, gave him superhuman power and authority. I would smoke. 

I recall enjoying it from the beginning, but that can’t be right, can it? Even smokers know smoking is disgusting. Whether or not I really liked it, I began to smoke every chance I got; as I got older, I got more chances. Only five years later, I’d be smoking more than a pack of Marlboros every day.

Then, after about 11 years of smoking I went to the doc. She gave me some Chantix, a quit-smoking drug, and I stopped with very little fanfare. I was a non-smoker for the next 6 years. Then, in December of 2012, I took a puff of a coworker’s Parliament Light. A week later I had a pack-a-day habit.

This time I hated it from the start. Smokers have the incredible, dogged determination to do something they loath 10, 20, 30 times every day. But I missed smelling nice. And I missed breathing deep, clear, breaths. I hated thinking of airplanes as smoke-free cages. During the winter, my hands — gloveless so I could handle my cigarettes — would dry, crack, and bleed. During the summer, I’d stand alone in the sun, sweating and feeding my addiction.

I haven’t had cigarette in five weeks now, and I don’t plan to ever fall for the “just one” trap again. As Sadaris’ friend said: I’ve finished with my smoking. I’m breathing deep again, and I smell nice. It’s the little things I like most about not smoking.

I spent this past weekend at a cabin in the Catskills with friends. That’s right, I spent a whole weekend in the woods, and I didn’t smoke once.

Letting Go by David Sedaris

Great read, especially in light the fact that I recently quit smoking.

Window seat.  (at The 7-5-2)

Window seat. (at The 7-5-2)

Whoa. (at Ba’sik)

Whoa. (at Ba’sik)

Extras go to the 3rd shift crew at the Corner Market. (at The Corner Market)

Extras go to the 3rd shift crew at the Corner Market. (at The Corner Market)

The most produced trip uptown in the history of trips uptown. @kathleenbly @sleeepyflo @staceyquick @marielinwalsh @apelligra #sandboxstudio (at Sandbox Studio)

The most produced trip uptown in the history of trips uptown. @kathleenbly @sleeepyflo @staceyquick @marielinwalsh @apelligra #sandboxstudio (at Sandbox Studio)

So meta. (at Exitroomny)

So meta. (at Exitroomny)

at El Loco Burrito

at El Loco Burrito

at MTA Subway - 1st Ave (L)

at MTA Subway - 1st Ave (L)

at The 7-5-2

at The 7-5-2

Happy birthday brother Mike! A reminder: I’ll always be taller than you ;) @mbeppes

Happy birthday brother Mike! A reminder: I’ll always be taller than you ;) @mbeppes

Mom told Grandaddy and I to stay the hell out of the kitchen. Naturally, we had to test the boundaries.  (at Eppes Cove)

Mom told Grandaddy and I to stay the hell out of the kitchen. Naturally, we had to test the boundaries. (at Eppes Cove)

at Eppes Cove

at Eppes Cove