Four years, nine months, and nine days have passed since I quit smoking.
But in times of stress (like this afternoon), it seems like I could pull into the convenience store, buy a pack, and light one up — just like the old days. I don’t know why the poison filling my lungs would feel so good, but it would.
I would gladly stand on the deck, with my back pressed against the outside wall to avoid the rain, just to feel that calm wash over me.
But I won’t. I know myself: a pack would lead to a carton, and that carton to a lifetime of slavery to cigarettes. To standing outside when everyone else is inside. To having to build in extra time every day for a habit that would eventually kill me.
I’ll settle for a Tom Collins and keep cleaning the house for company tomorrow. I just wish that someone could tell me that someday, that feeling will go away entirely.