I’m planning to quit smoking January 1st. The last time I tried was about a year ago; I think I only lasted two weeks then. During that time I wrote the following farewell:
Dear Marlboro Lights,
I left you behind almost two weeks ago—12 days, to be exact—and although I have missed you this whole time, today your absence is particularly acute. You always filled in so well when all else failed me. You were the only one who remained good and faithful and true. For instance, this morning I’m out of milk, which means black coffee and no cereal; in the past when I ran out of milk—or anything else—you were my substitute. Yeah, it sounds crazy, cigs don’t literally stand in for milk, but the point is, I could endure any deprivation as long as you were with me.
Even when you didn’t taste good, you still worked to soothe whatever ailed me. Sad? Have a smoke! Lonely? A cigarette’s good company! Hungry? Put off eating with a cig. Wishing I had money / a dog / a boyfriend / a car? Just light up a cigarette and forget it. As the ashes burn, so does the desire / sadness /loneliness / hunger. You sure came through for me.
But after using you so well for so long, you began hurting me more than you helped. Friends are like that sometimes. You made my lungs hurt: I could actually feel the damage you were doing in there. My throat and my breathing suffered. I couldn’t take a deep deep breath—still can’t. Couldn’t sing as much or as well or as loud as I wanted to.
Worse even than hurting me, you were ripping me off relentlessly. I spent all my money on you! How could you do that to me? Here I am, with an income below the poverty line, and you took every extra penny I had lying around, and then some! Every time I turned around you wanted more. Sometimes I was forced into withdrawal symptoms when I just didn’t have money to buy a pack. Sometimes I actually borrowed money from my son, who is himself poor. And the cost keeps going up. I can’t do it anymore, pal. You’re just too rich for my blood.
So it’s goodbye old friend. So long. Adios. Life is really hard without you. The day ahead looms; all seems bleak. Not much I can do about it, though, except try to get over you. I’ve lost so many people by now, been forced to live without having them around: surely I can manage without you.
Love and fond memories,
- You: Obama milestone: Nine months without a cigarette (latimes.com)