What it feels like to quit smoking

Quitting cigarettes is like hanging out with a casual acquaintance who doesn’t realize how boring she is and not being able to kick her out.

Decades ago, when I sometimes did this sort of thing, I lost 12 hours to such a person.

It was one of those nights that fell prey to the cocaine-and-vodka-cranberry lifestyle of the mid-to-late 90’s Brooklyn, northwest vintage.

Not to speak ill of that lifestyle. It’s just that the extremely boring person who I lost half a day to was the one supplying the cocaine.

What a drag. The only way my friends and I would get some as if we pretended to be interested in her featureless existence.

So we sucked it up.

being awesome

She told us she’d done some modeling on the side. And almost every time she leaves her apartment, she gets stalked by a talent scout.

She wanted to “go pro”. But there was still so much she wanted to accomplish as a certified public accountant.

It wasn’t until years later when she suddenly turned into a Buddhist, that we found out she had worked for Arthur Andersen on the Enron account.

With her conversion, she was doubling down on a boring life.

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But back then, she was just a run-of-the-mill coke-head. I can’t say if my friends and I that ever got used to this woman’s droning that night.

But as the 11th hour approached, and the cocaine vanished, we all realized at once that she had been talking the entire time. We didn’t even know she was still in the apartment, to be frank.

Now we were very aware, which meant the cocaine was wearing off, and fast.

And now this chick was going on about how a reverse triangular merger is simpler to accomplish than a direct merger because its subsidiary only has one shareholder, namely the acquiring company.

You try listening to that shit when the drugs just wear off.

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And that is exactly what it feels like to go through nicotine withdrawal, in case you haven’t known the pleasure.

It’s that moment when you realize the CPA is still talking. And she uses the term “flow-through entity”, but not in a sexy way.

That’s what this quit has been like. It was worse the first day.

Friday afternoon, I found out that the e-cigarette I was going to use to “mist” my way to cigarette-freedom, didn’t actually work.

So I went to the Hydro website for a list of retailers.

And for reasons that are hazy to me, I ended up in one of the worst places in the world.

A mall.

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Shit. It’s Friday night and I’m at the Westfield in Newmarket. How did I let things slip to this state?

This was not an ideal situation. Here I was lost, desperately craving a nicotine mist-fix. Nicotine, the drug that allowed me to spend time around people who like the mall without openly despising them, was losing its potency. I would soon be hating everyone, out loud. And I was in a fucking mall, where human contact was not out of the question.

I was angry. And confused. And somewhat looking forward to screaming obscenities in public.

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I knew I was in trouble and out of place. The few times I’ve been to a mall without Jacquie, the same thing always happens.

A concerned-looking mother will come up to me and ask if I were by myself, and if my daddy and mommy were nearby.

I was preparing an answer. Until I realized, I was alone. Nobody in the mall but me.

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Anyway, I don’t really want to talk about this anymore, because it took me about an hour to find the exit. Which is kind of embarrassing, when you think about it.

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But that’s just what happens when you’re withdrawing. You lose track of time. You have bouts of violent impulses. You eat.

And it’s had an impact on my writing. Until this afternoon, I’ve found it too distracting to focus on writing for very long.

So at least it’s getting better. Now that I’m misting.

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