When I quit smoking my greatest fear was not being able to control the addiction around other smokers. Recovering alcoholics, at least for a while, probably avoid places with booze. Like bars. We’re allowed, for now, to smoke in more places than we can drink. And that’s my weakness. Fucking peer pressure. Driving long distances alone is also a problem. I’m going to North Carolina this May to hang out with some damn fine photographers. It’s a long drive and some of them smoke. Worrisome.
It’s been a few months since I’ve had a cigarette. I think the only remaining tobacco in the house is half a stale pouch of Captain Black, but I can’t quite recall where it is right now. Last night – well, actually about 1 o’clock this morning – I rode over to the supermarket for a diet Pepsi. The two people smoking outside the north entrance didn’t seem to notice me, even with the yellow jacket and chrome leg band and MTB gloves. A minute or two passed before I realized the smell of smoke hadn’t called to me. It didn’t make me want one. I stopped shopping for a second and tried to imagine taking a long drag on a Camel. Nothing. No fleeting thoughts of bumming one off the couple outside or the night stock crew. In fact, this is the very first time since I’ve quit that I’ve been able to reconcile desire and logic. At this point I’d rather not smoke. I think I may have won, kicked it to the curb. I’m not worried about North Carolina anymore.
There’s no sadness or happiness. No regrets about the act itself or the damage I probably did to myself. But Jesus Christ, man, what I could have done with the money.