The Girl in Black

Se necesita una poca de gracia.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Flirting with an old flame


They say that when you are addicted to "something," said "something" is your best friend and/or your lover. "How could I ever live without *blank*? We've had so many good times together."

If you have never experienced a true addiction, let me tell you that this statement is absolutely true. (If you have, you should know what I am talking about.) You think thoughts like "as long as I have *blank* my shitty life/job/whatever is tolerable." Whatever you are addicted to seeps into your identity, insidiously infiltrating all parts of your life.

Of course, I am speaking of my own experience with cigarettes. (We won't go into any compulsive eating habits just yet.)

I mentioned that I had found my ex's emergency pack while packing up yesterday. Given my current habit of bumming smokes from friends on the weekends (mostly), and the stress of moving all weekend, what else would I do but smoke them?

But, weren't they all nasty and stale? Honestly, I didn't notice a difference except that I didn't get a strong buzz off of the first one. (This may also be because I had been bumming from my brother and his girlfriend the day before.)

They actually helped me get through the day a little, as I had an excuse to step out onto the porch and take a "breather" every so often. It was so nice sitting on that fifth floor porch with the wind whipping around me on a warm spring day, inhaling smoke and watching it swirl away. And at night, I watched the fireworks from Universal (yes, you can see them from my old balcony). It was beautiful, peaceful.

These were the good times I remember. Taking time to stop and contemplate things, yet doing something "active" at the same time. Allowing myself to stop and enjoy the outdoors because I had an excuse to do so. It's so easy to forget the bad times: the dehydrated smoking-in-my-car-on-a-hot-Florida-day feelings; the constant nervousness around people I didn't want to smoke in front of, wanting to get away but not wanting to be obvious about it; the burning and sick feelings of smoking too many, and yet reaching for more out of habit. But I could taste the cigarettes in my mouth, and smell them on my fingers, and I liked it.

It's really painful. I know I have the choice to go out and buy a pack and start up again for good. (Of course, in my head I think "Just for a little while.") And I also know I have the choice to stop again, and revel in the freedom I had found when I quit initially.

And yet, how do you say goodbye to something you love?

I have a theory, that a lot of people hide behind things like smoking because they are afraid to be who they really are, that they can't handle their own personal power. So they dull it down in order to get by living in the "real world" while they really could be soaring in the stars. I realized a little while back that such has been the case with myself. If it's not smoking, it's something else that I use to ignore things in myself. And I've been at such a crossroads lately...I think maybe it's time to try to fly.


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