You are here: Home - General - Letter to an ex-lover: Exciting Conclusion

Letter to an ex-lover: Exciting Conclusion

Posted by on October 7th, 2008 with 0 Comments

I was lying on my back in the woods near my house in Northwest Philly. It was a late autumn night and when the wind blew the trees swayed with it. I was 16 and alone with myself in an altered state of mind. My mouth tasted like metal and my hands didn’t look quite right. I lit a cigarette and watched the bare branches of the trees. I breathed deeply and felt the nicotine spread through my mind like the branches of those trees. It was in there, intractable.

When I quit, the first two weeks were the worst. After that, the first 3 months were the worst. People said it would get better after that, but it didn’t. Fortunately, I’m stubborn. There’s no trick to quitting smoking. I understand why people can’t, but I don’t understand why people don’t understand why they can’t. If you refuse to smoke, then you’ll be successful.

The last time I had a cigarette was in May. It was after the death of a friend. I had 2 or 3 cigarettes that night. I said yesterday that cigarettes are like an ex. At first I thought I would never be able to see her again, but we can be friends now. It’s a shoulder to lean on or someone to call after a few too many drinks. But I’ll never let her get too close. She’s as crazy as she’s ever been and will work her way back into my life the first opportunity she gets.

When I first ended it, I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t listen to music. I had trouble watching movies. I didn’t go out or touch a drop of alcohol for months. Worst of all I couldn’t write. Sitting down with my notebook and not lighting a cigarette was the hardest part of the whole thing. The two actions were so thoroughly tied up with one another that I had to stop writing. Since writing is my second addiction, it became a big problem.

I said yesterday that the real insidiousness of the addiction is what it does to you internally. It had become part of my identity. How do you go on if you can’t do anything that you used to do? It’s like breaking up with yourself. All the music you like reminds you of it. All your routines remind you of it. All your favorite things remind you of the things you like to do with yourself. What the hell do you do?

It’s mostly better now, but it will never fade away completely. I don’t write much in my notebooks anymore. After a few months I discovered that I could write on my computer without too much trouble… so I started a website.

Leave a Reply

Featured Post

Your Neighborhood Toynbee Tile

Search this site