53 Days

Well, hello there!

It’s been 53 days since the last time I posted. Do you know how I know that, besides by looking at the date of my last post? Because it has been 53 days since I smoked my last cigarette! Wooohooo! The agreement I had with DLD was that we’d quit our individual bad habits for 40 days and 40 nights, so technically I could have resumed smoking 13 days ago. But I think I’ll stay stopped. I’m $504.38 richer! Seriously! And I’ve noticed my senses of smell and taste have skyrocketed – it’s almost impossible to believe that all this time Snickers could possibly have been more delicious. And Starburst, too. Unfortunately, I can’t eat blueberries anymore – too tart. Except blueberry Pop Tarts. I can eat those. Delicious. Curiously, my visual imagery ability has also skyrocketed. No one has ever mentioned this could happen when you quit smoking, but I’ll take it! It’s the cherry on top of my quitting smoking sundae! Mmmm. Sundaes. Cherries. Cherry Pop Tarts. Yum.

Occasionally and happily, it occurs to me that I am not really experiencing any negative effects of quitting smoking, such as irritability and overeating. Knowing that it is wise to get a second opinion when making self-assessments, I asked DLD if I have been more irritable than usual these past 53 days. He said no, not at all. Essellent! Mmmmm. Egg salad. It may have something to do with some other lifestyle changes I’ve made since I stopped smoking. I’ve started exercising and practicing guided mindful meditations while on the T on my way to Wonglood – I’ve replaced nicotine with endorphins and Zen. I’m also practicing acceptance. I have to accept that some people on the T are simply annoying. I am practicing trying to remember in real time to pause and notice the annoyance – I should simply notice the annoyance and imagine it as a cloud passing across the sky. Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems. I’m accepting the fact that my body is adjusting to these changes, and sometimes when I am on the T, I’m just tired and need to remember that things will be a little easier after I have had a cup of coffee. Don’t you hate when people say shit like that about their first cup of coffee? Or worse, have actual coffee cups that say shit about their first cup of coffee? Albert Camus (allegedly) wrote, “Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?”. Which do you think I think people who say shit like that about coffee should do, Albert? And the word ‘cup’ – don’t you hate that word? I’m not even kidding. I hate that word. ‘Cup’. I also hate the words ‘nugget’ and ‘dollop’, to name a couple of others. I guess I hate words with an “uh” sound. Except ‘fuck’, as in “fuck you”. ‘Moist’ doesn’t bother me in the least. I rather like it. But don’t you hate that suddenly everyone hates the word ‘moist’? News flash everyone who says they hate the word ‘moist’: you’re not being original. You’re stealing someone else’s (lame) attempt at humor. Stop it. You’re annoying. Where the hell was I? Yes, I was talking about how I am not irritable and don’t overeat. I don’t even drink coffee, by the way. I hate coffee. Mmmm. Coffee cake.

I am also learning to accept.. and to imagine as clouds passing across the sky.. that some people have a remarkably high tolerance for noise, especially the noise they themselves emit. Actually, most people are too loud in every way – eat too loudly, breathe too loudly, talk too loudly, and the worst – talk to themselves too loudly! Oh – but THE worst worst worst – people who talk to me too loudly (or talk to me at all actually) when clearly I am ignoring them, as in, my back is to them, earbuds are in my ears but not plugged into anything else in true passive-aggressive fashion, I don’t nod in any kind of recognition while their lips are flapping. Speaking of lips… whistling? Why? Whyyyy??? Luckily for all the whistling idiots who cross my path, due to my new superhero power of mental visualization, I can imagine pulling their lips off their faces with my bare hands instead of actually pulling their lips off their faces with my bare hands. Visualize this – I’d impersonate one of those mechanical claw machines they have at arcades and Chuck E. Cheese (and the old Ground Round by Fresh Pond – remember that place?). I’d calmly walk up to them and gently grasp their whistling face from nose to chin with my fingers, then gently close my claw around their whistling lips. And then pull. Wicked hard. In my sociopathic imagination, it is done in slow motion hilarity. The whistling would trail off as their eyes would bug out, not so much from suffocation but from utter shock. Of course, in real life, they’d get really pissed and block my physical assault, so it’d have to be a surprise, ninja-like attack. They’d never know what hit them and they’d be too fearful to ever whistle again. You’re welcome.

HK claw

Being all mindful and healthy and Zen the way I am now that I have quit smoking, I am sure that you will be supportive of all the tools I have used to quit smoking, including violent visualizations. The next time someone on the T whacks you in the head or jabs you in the ribs – and we all know they’ll be a next time – instead of scowling or getting upset, take a page from my book. Close your eyes, take deep luxurious breaths, smile with your eyes, smile with your mouth the half smile of the Buddha. And then imagine calmly walking up to them, pushing them down those three stupid and hazardous stairs on the Green Line, grabbing their bag, beating the daylights out of them with it. Imagine walking calmly back to your seat and resuming looking out the window at the beauty of God’s Green Earth. Exhale and cradle yourself in the relief the visualizations lovingly provide. Release the tension, release your worries.  Imagine them as clouds passing across the sky….

Have a nice day!

P.S. I have a 28-day supply of 14mg nicotine patches if anyone who’s trying to quit would like them. Being irritable doesn’t mean I am not generous and thoughtful and serene. It simply means I take public transportation and have really good hearing, especially since I quit smoking.. 53 days ago.

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