Why the hell do I smoke? That’s it, I quit!
It’s the little things in life that define us. The way we talk, walk, or act, sets us apart from the next Jimbo. As I’m writing this right now, I’m smoking –what I hope is- my last cigarette ever. A cigarette that I consider a small part of me that defines who I am, and that is why it’s so hard to let it go.
It’s not that I don’t want to quit, it’s just that I’m afraid. I’m afraid that if I stop smoking I’ll lose the person that I am today. I’m afraid that I’d change somehow after I quit.. I’m afraid that smoking is one of those small parts that define me, that if I quit, I’m not only quitting on cigarettes, I’m quitting on a part of myself.
I don’t actually remember why I started smoking, its mind boggling really, especially considering my genuine hatred for smoking in my teen years. I never understood why anyone would smoke, specifically my father.
He was a smoker and I always hated that about him. He was killing himself, and he knew it. You’ve got one life, and you trade parts of it for what? Smoke? Why? I never really understood the concept. What kind of idiot would do that? Well… low and behold idiot junior.
I’m a curios person. I’ve always been a curious person. Curiosity is the oil that keeps me going. I want to know how everything and anything is like, I mean … why not? And that’s how it started, and that’s how it always starts.
One day, I crept into my father’s upper cupboard where he kept his keys, glasses, work papers, and most importantly his cigarettes. I grabbed a pack amidst the dozen lying on the shelf, and it was finally time to try out a cigarette. I headed to the kitchen to grab a light, and then went to the balcony so that the scent wouldn’t rat me out. I lit the cigarette, took a puff, and then IMMEDIATELY coughed my lungs out. The taste was unbearable, it smelt terrible; the whole concept of smoking to me, at that moment, was mind boggling. I remember thinking “who the hell would ever want this? It tastes atrocious, it smells disgusting, and it kills you, it slowly kills you.” Shortly after, I realized there was no point to this, and I angrily threw the cigarette along with the entire pack through the window. That was my very first cigarette… and without it I would have still probably started my smoking habit, anyways. That was a curiosity cigarette and it’s obvious why I tried it then… I was curious. The other 40,151 cigarettes (a rough average of a pack a day for five and half years) however, I’m not quite sure why.
It’s funny really, how your younger self had such defiant laws that he thought he would never break. Such as having that dream job he wanted, or how he would never conform to that thing that everyone else is doing. All of which at the aim of shaping a vigilant image of his future self, that define who he really is at that moment. Then you, his future self, go ahead and smoke a cigarette, and demolish that vision. You smoke one cigarette and you break one law. And once one law is broken, the rest fall like domino pieces, and your younger self seizes to exist anymore. But that’s just the cycle of life, right?
Anyways, I started smoking during my first year in college, a pivotal year in my life. I had no idea what I wanted to major in so I just followed my best friend into computer science. I was among new people who I had no idea how to interact or connect with. And, of course, most importantly, I was a fresh child of divorce.
You’re probably reading this right now, thinking that you’ve figured it out. You’re probably thinking that you’ve found why I started smoking. It’s a simple recipe, right? Add one divorce, one obliviousness, and hundreds of intimidating people and you’ve got yourself a smoker.
Well, sorry to disappoint you Sherlock, but that’s just not it. It’s not the way I ever thought, it’s not the way I ever was. New environments were something I was used to by then. I had lived in 4 different countries, and attended 5 different schools by the time I started smoking. And my parent’s divorce was an ongoing tragedy at home. The divorce itself was the aftermath of the war. The war itself was the gruesome act that I had to endure.. It would have been much easier to start smoking then.
At least, that’s what I think.
Or maybe not, maybe I just finally cracked under pressure and I found my outlet in the solace of a cigarette. A cigarette that was always there for me; an everlasting companion. Maybe smoking was my big ‘fuck you’ to the world; a way for me to propel my non-nonchalant attitude into a physical reality.
I don’t know. I really don’t know.
But actually, it doesn’t matter. What I do realize now –as I’m writing this- is that this final cigarette, that lays in my ash tray, does not define me. But I will miss it. I’ll miss the sound of a drag from a cigarette in the cracking silence of winter. I’ll miss the way a cigarette makes you feel when you truly need it. And I’ll certainly miss my ever-loyal friend.
However, as I take this last drag, we must part ways.
I really don’t know why I started smoking, but I do know why I’m quitting, and that is what really matters in the end.