Yesterday, as I ran to my office to "sneak" (she knew what I was doing) a cigarette, Laura followed me and cracked wise about my habit. I responded with vague promises to look into quitting sometime in the indefinite future, acknowledging the fact that smoking is bad for me, but bragging (irrelevantly, really) that my gums are in great shape and that I have never had a cavity. (That's right, bitches: Never!)
But I faced my trump.
"I don't want you to die of cancer!" Laura exclaimed, shattering my excuses like the frames of so many pairs of drug-store sunglasses knocked off a desk by a nervy cat.
And I thought: Maybe I don't want to continue inhaling (and absorbing) such charming toxins as carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde (formaldehyde!?!>, hydrogen cyanide (cyanide!?!) and benzine - not to mention ye olde tar and nicotine - which I have (more or less voluntarily sucked back like a baby at its mother's teat for the past 22 or so years.
Laura's words - and her tone (not nagging, but selfishly caring) - have been echoing through my addict's head like an inertialess billiard-ball on frictionless felt for the past 24 hours.
And so, my love ...
And so ...
Tonight, I'll smoke my brains out, one cigarette after another, like a castaway setting afire his last remaining bundle of faggots when a plane flies over.
Tomorrow, I'll stagger awake (yes, I'm drinking now) and ignore the change in my purse, refuse the call of the corner store, and likely light a bowl before noon.
But no tobacco.
I am too selfish to want to risk dying on you. I won't do without the joy of your company before
Laura, I'm going to be bitchy; I'm going to chew gum like Homer chews donuts; I'm going to drink like the proverbial fish for the first week or so; and I'll probably ask for your help, your support. I won't like it. I don't like inflicting my weakness on others.
But I love you and I don't want to die on you.