Politics of Smoke

“What I need is a goddamn miracle and my cigarette is my burning bush.”
— NGT,
“Sophia”

CIGARETTE SMOKERS are a curious breed.  Try asking five smokers a peso and they’d tell you they don’t have change.  Bum a stick and at least four will hand you their cigarette packs with lighters in tow.  Roll your eyeballs left and right and they’d bring you makeshift ashtrays that will give Andy Warhol’s concept of “creative consumerism” a brand new perspective.  Misery loves company and smokers are the most miserable of the entire lot.  They’re the type that fancy group hugs.  They belong to the only clique that welcomes strangers and newcomers with a smile and outstretched arms, a hazing-free fraternity.  Share some death.  They’re more accommodating than prostitutes to be sure, but at the back of their minds is Sigmund Freud dressed as a used car salesman.  Fuck charity.  They offer you death sticks because, whether they admit it or not, the only news they want to hear when they finally lay before the altar of emphysema is that you, fellow member of that 10 o’clock smoking club, have fared much worse, stricken with lung or throat cancer, spending your last days feeding your esophagus with porridge through a plastic straw.

I’ve been trying to quit smoking for God knows how long.  It’s a filthy habit.  And to a certain degree, I’ve had considerable success (Read: utter failure).  But I keep hearing the boys at the office calling me, pointing at their wristwatches, mouthing the words “ITS-TEN-O-CLOCK”  as they form a small, tight group and walk towards the fire exit.  One by one they disappear beyond the wide open door.  Then all I see is a plume of smoke billowing in the fresh open air…

… and oh, that thick aroma of rich Virginia… hmmm…

Anyone care for a smoke?

(snuff)

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37 thoughts on “Politics of Smoke

  1. Very funny piece. I am sure it will be helpful in your quitting. I am a very weird smoker. I only smoke one a day late in the evening as a goodnight “relaxer”. When I decided even this was not good for my lungs I did make a plan. I decided to gross myself out on day time smokers. Watch their desperation. You are so right about the Death Loves Company bonding. I have been cleaning up after them by cleaning the ashtrays outside and picking up butts. I am so repulsed it has been 2 weeks since my last cig. Aversion practices help me. They smell gross too! (you want to smell nice..buy a new cologne)

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    • i love your comment! i say, good for you for sticking to one stick and eventually quitting (hopefully for good). sadly, at this point, nothing grosses me out anymore when it comes to smoking. probably the only thing that concerns me is how i smell. and yeah, haha, i can always depend on my choice cologne. maybe, and just maybe, if i quit anytime soon and we ever get to meet, we can do that secret smokers handshake and laugh about how desperate we’ve once been.

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  2. Good luck, don’t give up the fight to quitting! I know what it’s like to be addicted and how great smoking can feel but I also know how much BETTER it feels to not be addicted anymore. I know easier said than done, but totally doable no matter how difficult it seems. All the best :)

    Btw, thanks for your recent visit to my blog, I always appreciate it. I hope you will leave a 10-word-or-less description of your blog here: http://yourdailydoseblog.com/2012/10/11/a-page-dedicated-to-my-readers-your-blogs-please-help-me-finish-it-by-describing-your-blog-in-10-words-or-less/
    so ppl will know what your blog is about! Thanks :)

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    • appreciate the encouragement, janice! :) there is no such thing as Cigarette Anonymous (i think), but nice words from concerned friends do help.

      thank you too for my blog’s exposure in your site. more power! :)

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      • No problem, I do hope you keep up the good fight towards cigarette soberdom ;)

        And my pleasure, I’m really happy to promote all of my readers’ blogs! You guys are the best!

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  3. My husband used to smoke a pack a day when I met him. He used to say that he’d never quit. And you’re right, misery loves company. People with vices don’t want to feel alone. If other people are smoking with them, it’s not as bad, right?
    2 and a half years ago, my husband quit smoking cold turkey. And hasn’t smoked since! He said it was tough, but it was so worth it.
    I actually like the smell of smoke. It reminds me of concerts and my grandpa’s lake house. Hah!

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    • finally, a non-smoker who actually loves smoke ;) i hope that, after i quit chugging death sticks for good, i’d conjure the same pleasant memories as you have. a smoker lives in a lonely world that’s getting smaller by the minute so they (we) seek comfort from whatever company that’s left. i admire your hubby for the fortitude. maybe i’ll muster the same resolve one day. i just hope that day comes sooner than later :)

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  4. I’ve never smoked so have no real idea how hard it might be to quit but this way lies life. Good luck, Neil. It’s awful to think of someone so talented, lying wasted with cancer.

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  5. Pingback: Smoke « Single Again

  6. Love this!! All of it, so very true….keep trying to quit. Some day you will do it. Quitting maybe easier if you quit your job, no 10’oclock smoking buddies and no money to buy the smokes…

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  7. ooooh I have friends who’ve quit, thrice :P I often wonder if they’re gonna kick the bucket sooner than the butt! Thanks for “Share some death” can’t wait to use it when I meet ’em next ;) teehee

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  8. I don’t smoke so I can’t relate much. Not to promote smoking which is indeed bad for health, but there is something sexy about a man who smokes, the way the cheeks dimpled when they sucked on that stick complemented by a slight frowning of the eyebrows? It’s just looks so nonchalant. I blame this fascination to mr. Malboro man. My father smokes, a lot. I used to be so scared for his lungs but recently he had an X-ray done, his lungs was not so bad. So go figure. Again not meant to encourage smoking. I dunno what I’m saying. You should probably stop though. :-D

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    • lol. i loved the way you described it! i know that would now make it extra difficult to quit. i know that, when i smoke my next stick later, i will make sure that i dimple my cheeks and frown my brows haha! you’re right though, i should quit cold turkey! : )

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  9. o how I hate you pretzellogic – yeah perfect timing [just when I’m struggling with relapse]… btw I DON’T FANCY group hugs or anything… i only fancy a cigarette! :(

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    • oh, so sorry s1ngal. obviously, i am in no position to give you sage advice on how to battle your relapse. i can only wish you well (along with the warning that it is more difficult to quit the second time around). maybe the reason why you don’t fancy “group hugs” at this point was you were already successful in getting out of the group, until now. all the best!

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  10. Still happy to say, I’ve manage to stay away from cigarettes even while my husband continued to smoke. All I got to say is just keep at it. and remember, it is possible! I’m rooting for you Neil!

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