Stretch here. I have been not smoking the smoking cigarettes since August 1st 2014. I feel healthy, my lungs are full of air. I go for long and boring runs now and sorta see the point of it. Sometimes, I cough and enjoy the lack of a wheeze and that little bit of phlegm that would jump out in to my munki mouth. Despite years of abusing these little wonder sticks, I can now look forward to living maybe five to ten years longer and see my family and friends flourish into old age. Ahhh.
BUT, Jesus, fuck that, I fucking miss them. Here’s why:
- Travel: Standing at a bus stop or train station, occupying your time with your own thoughts is generally boring. Smoking a cigarette fills time. It fills between 5 and 8 minutes. You look at the board and it says 18 minutes until your travel device arrives. That’s two lovely, enjoyable cigarettes. You don’t want to be thinking about stuff like how to be a better munki or solving the world’s problems. That’s none of your business. Smoke. Also, in Winter it keep you warm and safe.
- Tramps. The majority of conversations I have had with people of the streets have occurred around cigarettes. In fact, on one holiday to San Francisco, I spent most of my holiday money passing out cigarettes to the homeless, causing petty tramp-fights due to the queues forming around my person. I felt like Jesus did when he smoked, I did.
- Accentuating a shit situation: You have a row; lose a job; the car won’t start; you get clamped; a piano falls on your sister; Christmas Day; Salman Rushdie keeps hanging around you; Lupita Nyong’o says you have no talent and you’re not funny; fucking Ryan Gosling actually has young geese (fuck sake); you pay your TV license and they give it to Ryan Tubridy to keep up his sense of self-worth; you find out there is a God, but vow to continue to trust the tenets of nihilism etc… With the aid of a cigarette you can stop, regard the situation, shove one in your mouth and take a timeout. Without cigarettes, the only option is to revolve and revolve and revolve quickly until dizziness makes amends.
- Funerals: Socially awkward, uncomfortable, cold, long, boring…. Stand outside and smoke. You’ll look anxious and people will forgive the chain-smoking, thinking you’re working through issues. You’re not. You barely know the deceased. You are just ignorant, but y’know content.
- Social occasions: See above. Smoking areas are now the only places in bars or clubs where people are actually having fun probably. Be careful though: outgoing people tend to use wild hand gestures to add to their boring stories. Smokers will burn you real good. You’ll make friends, fall in love, sway… anything you want and you ARE getting the night air. What could be better? The downside is the cancer and the smell of ya. Also great for getting away from the desk at work. Well except when getting to the spot and the most boring person in the company is there. Bullshit conversation about their social life and then you avoid eye contact for years. YEARS!
- Life expectancy: How fucking long is long enough? Do you want to live forever? I’m not sure I can afford to live until a ripe old age. I’m skint. At a certain point, the onset of old age will make my remaining munki years slow and cumbersome. Naturally I would be okay if I had an optimistic outlook, but fuck that, that hasn’t happened and isn’t going to. So now I’ll have to endure a healthy, broke end of days. Sounds great. But, if I go back on the smokes, I can shave off a number of those painfully boring years, despite suffering a terrible painful death coughing phlegm on everyone. Hmm…what to do?
- Cause of death: So, yeah, If I don’t smoke, I will die from something else, right? What if the thing that kills me is really stupid, like being run over or being eaten by penguins or falling in the shower or being assassinated accidentally by a secondary terrorist organisation or choking on rocket or choking on asparagus or choking on a Pharmaton or choking on yoghurt or falling off the Eiffel Tower or falling out a bungalow window wrong….grrr? Instead, a persistent cough, breathing apparati…later.
- Non Smokers: Hey I don’t smoke but I’m not a non-smoker, right? You can fuck right off if you think that.
- They taste fucking wonderful and go so well with booze and LSD. In fact if you are doing acid, I recommend about 60 cigarettes (80 if microdots are your thing) and of course, breathing. Breathe, Shirley, breathe! Who do you think you are, Tom fucking Cruise?
- Finally, remember, we are all alone. With a cigarette you are never alone. You have a sense of purpose. That sense of purpose is to smoke a cigarette. It is one of the simplest things you will learn in life. This and the knowledge that most humans you encounter in life are straight up conservative assholes and they think the same of you. Family, friends, confidantes, your religious entity, doing good deeds, receiving praise? None of these things will ever give you the same feeling as the first optimistic 30 seconds after lighting up a beautiful stick of dried out leaves. Inhale, exhale. Life is good. For now.
Smoke if you got em’!