Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Honesty and Cigarettes?

People are weird.

Maybe one day I'll get the hang of this whole 'human species' thing, but I'm not banking on it.

Why can't people just say what they mean? It's like everyone has to play games with everyone else. As if you told someone how you actually feel that would be the end of the goddamn universe. As if honesty is something to be feared rather than embraced.

Not sure where this is coming from or where it's headed, but it just seems like people I meet enjoy the games. Like there's something fun about keeping people guessing or firing blanks at their feet and watching them dance.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if we could just be honest with people and say what was on our minds? No more of the bullshit. The unwanted pleasantries. The wasteful small talk. The insincere smiles. The mere nods of acknowledgment.

Oh what a world that would be.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want pure honesty. I'm sure I don't even want to know what my best friends think of me sometimes. I'm not talking about being brutal, just not bullshitting anymore.

I hate bullshit. I can smell it miles away. And when people feed me lines of pure crap I just want to squeeze their heads until their innards pop out.

Or something like that.

At this point I'm rambling, but if you've made it this far you're probably used to it by now. And if you're not, I apologize, but you'll get used to it.

Keep on rocking in the free world.

I'm not sure where that came from.

Neil Young is pulsing through my ears. I can't believe it's taken me so long to realize how amazing he is. Probably the second-best song writer besides Dylan himself. That's the highest praise I can give. Period.

I smoked only three cigarettes today. OK, I know. It's still three. But when you've been smoking around 20+ a day for the last two months, three is a big deal.

It's hard to explain, but my body can tell when I haven't smoked in a long time. And by long time I mean like 10 hours. My mind craves it. And when I finally smoke...

...it's like heaven. Sad, but true.

Ahhhhhhh sweet serenity. It's like the entire world is alright again, if just for a few minutes. Smoking is one of the most relaxing things you can ever do. It's so easy to get used to having the first cigarette of the morning to wake yourself up and start your day. And there's something peacefully magical about the last cigarette. Just you in your pjs and sandals staring at the stars while the rest of the world sleeps.

And during the course of your day it's like a mini-vacation. A time where you can just go outside and stand by yourself, lost in your own thoughts.

I don't expect people to understand why I do it. But I can say that it is all mental. Cigs were there when I was at the lowest of the low. They became my friends, my support group in a weird way. I could always count on them, no matter what. And when you feel like everyone has abandoned you, you'll turn to anything for help.


Cigs were always there for me. They never left or wavered like so many people in my life. And they never questioned me. Never judged. They were just there to calm my nerves and tell me everything was alright.

I guy whose struggling to just make it through the end of the day gets used to that awfully quick. And in many ways I didn't realize it was happening until it was too late. You think you're in control until one day you wake up and you plan your day around when you can go to the gas station for another pack.

Today I was so desperate I smoked a Parliament. If this isn't the bottom I don't know what is.

And while I want to quit with 98% of my body, that last two percent is mighty stubborn and has been through a lot. That two percent is ready to give it up quite yet.

Sad, but true.

When you depend on something to get you through the bad times it's easy to fall back when you're having a bad day. Or a bad hour. Or a bad month. Or a bad year. And when you're doing good, it's nice to celebrate with something you enjoy.

Here are all the times I enjoy smoking: Right when I wake up. Right before class. After I eat breakfast while it's still becoming light outside. In a quiet spot where it's just me. Between classes. At high noon with the sun straight overhead. Right after lunch. On a break during work. On a clear night. While it storms. At a party. While I read the newspaper. As the sun sets. As I sit in the park. When it's really cold and I'm in sandals. When it's the middle of the night. While I study. While I play sports. While I walk to class. After a big meal. Before a big test. Anytime I feel happy, stressed, sad, lonely, curious, concerned, disillusioned, tired, peaceful...

You get the picture.

And people ask why I still smoke.

Oh if you only knew. If you only knew.

Okay so I'll end this now. If for no other reason than because I'm finally feeling tired. Once again I apologize if you've struggled all the way through this. I'll buy you a cookie the next time I see you, or something like that.


  1. Oh Ben, it takes a special kind of person to be honest all the time. Not everyone can be as special as me :-) haha ok, so I may be more brutally honest than refreshingly honest, but at least you know I won't ever dick around with you!

  2. I'll take a chocolate chip cookie, thank you.