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Monday, December 19, 2011

One Whole YEAR, Smoke-free… Dammit, Applaud Me!


Bogie was Coooool & All... But... Please Don't Believe The Hype!


The picture above was taken the last time I ever smoked. I wanted to memorialize The Moment. I wanted to pay homage to Bogart and McQueen (both who died from cancer, btw) and all those very cool cinematic peeps to blew smoke and fury and signified nothing, and yet further served to punctuate their brand of uber mystique.

So… Here’s The Method To My Madness:

Yesterday, December 18th, was not only the natal day of my longest-lasting childhood friend (Happy Burfday, Val!), but it also marked the one year anniversary of my Emancipation from the Nicotine stick.

Yes, applaud me! In fact… BIG-AZZ congrats to me!

Sadly, there were no parties, no NY headlines, no parades, no fireworks, and there was no holiday held in my honor. In the grand scheme of things it wasn’t a banner day that will live in infamy, but it did and does mean something to me, and to those who’ve loved and supported me through my fight.

I have not fallen back, fallen off, slipped back, fell down, went BOOM, fell from some high expectation, and busted my azz on the way down, gotten weak and /or reverted back to type. In fact, I can now state, with just a small bit of determined cockiness that I AM cig-free. This is not some hiatus. This is NOT a drill. I've passed those tests. This is the Real Deal. I no longer crave a morning cigarette, or need a smoke after a full meal. I no longer depend upon a smoke to relieve tension or stress. I no longer need a smoke after sex. I don't smoke anymore when I’m bored, when I could use a physical prop or need something to do with my hands. I no longer feel the need to light up a ‘Port when I’m writing and creating new worlds or trying like hell to finish a cogent thought. I no longer seek that designated spot to light up outside in the summer heat or the crazy cold while communing with my fellow fag igniters. I no longer have to search pockets or ramble thru drawers to hustle up those extra bucks to feed that monkey on my back who refuses to let me be! Gone are those days and nights when I'd be forced to rustle up those extra coins and spare change just to pay that steadily increasing tab on those demon cigs! AND... no longer do I feel compelled to head out in the middle of a freaking blizzard to cop those necessary tits to suck upon as I wait out some hellish winter assault.

Whew! It was mad rough being ME a year ago!

Yes, trust, in the past, I’ve done all those things (and more) until I was indigo-blue in the face! But that was then.... and this is now.

My NOW contains no residual smoky odors, no stuffy coughs, and no stifling air. My NOW is a new and crystal-clear outlook; a brand-new confidence in me and in my ability. The NOW is a celebration of my willpower. The now eschews the thought of lighting up and instead takes a deep breath, goes for a walk, or meditates, or reads a book.

I do not want to come off here as being superior (I’m NOT!) or holier than thou, as some former smokers are apt to do. I am not nor do I ever plan on becoming one of those Cigarette Nazi People! Not a fan. If my friend smokes, I’m not the one to be making speeches, or giving tedious testimony on the evils of the weed. Naw! That cat’s NOT me! I DO, however, have a few rules set into place:

I don’t want anyone smoking IN my crib! Sounds simple, right?

Well, at the moment, I'm currently housing someone (an in-law) who is a moderate-to-heavy smoker. This is a person, who, even AFTER having a scare and then surviving a serious bout with breast cancer… continues to smoke!!! I have already spoken to her about it. I have given her a few medical facts about my heart condition. I had HOPED that by my being so candid, she would, perhaps, if NOT quit, then at the very least STOP SMOKING IN MY CRIB! Second-hand smoke ain’t NO joke! And still I awaken to find my bathroom REEKS of smoke! Not trying to be a hard-ass, and besides, we’ve already ARGUED about this, and how, IF she wants to continue to stay here, she will HAVE to smoke outside or in her car, or a someplace else! And yet, its like that heated convo never even took place! This witch just keeps on smokin' and smoking... and SMOKIN' some mo. I understand the POWER of the habit. I do. I understand it intimately. So, I will give her until the start of the NEW YEAR before I kick her lax, lazy, disrespectful azz to that proverbial curb. Family relationships be DAMNED! After all, this is MY HEALTH and I refuse to allow it or myself to be played. I refuse, after MUCH personal sacrifice, to have it sabotaged by someone else, when I’m trying to do them a favor. Smell me?

In fact, go ahead, smell me. I dare ya! You won’t find anything other than a faint whiff of my Dolce & Gabbana cologne, ironically named “The One.

So, where's the party? The balloons? And can a Brotha get a hug or sum'm up in this piece?

Happy Holidays to You & Yours!