07.02.04

11:12 p.m.

Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow...

New research shows people who smoke are less likely to have Alzheimerís. Want to take a wild guess as to why that is? The cancer and emphysema will kill us off long before Alzheimerís has a chance to get us.

Smoking is a disgusting habit. Example: I cleaned the inside of my windshield today, the thick yellow nicotine stains were starting to impair my ability to drive. Ok, so maybe it wasnít to that point, but it was filthy. I can only imagine what my lungs must look like. Theyíre probably filled to the brim with a black tar-like substance; not a single healthy cell in sight.

Iíve been coughing a lot in the past week...well, more like hacking up a lung. Iím not sure whether itís a cold, or the start of my rapid health decline. I donít suppose my asthma helps the situation. I should quit. I need to quit. I want to quit Ė sort of.

Iíve become accustom to a smoking schedule...every 2 hours. My body knows exactly when 10:00am is better than any clock does. If nicotine doesnít enter my bloodstream within 15 minutes of any given ďsmokeĒ time, I start to feel anxious and irritable. If Iím in a situation where I usually would light up (a bar, the car, at home) itís all I can think about. I feel like Pavlovís dogs...behaviorally conditioned.

The addiction is far more than just the physical need for nicotine; itís psychological. I need the security of a cigarette in my hand. Itís never let me down - itís there when Iím stressed, when Iím happy, when Iím sad, on the long car ride to work, when Iím relaxing after sex, and when I wake up in the morning. Itís been there every time Iíve ever needed it. I can depend on a cigarette to calm and soothe me, or energize and excite me. How can I give such a wonderful relationship up?

I did quit once; I made it an entire week without one drag from a cigarette. It was the most excruciatingly difficult thing Iíve ever done. I hope I have the strength to try it again some day. For now, Iím off to 7-eleven...Iím out of cigarettes.

Useless observation for the day: My mother brought home a lighter from Cancun. On the side it says - Hecho en Estados Unidos.

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