Fetch: Temptation

It’s just one smoke. What’s the harm?

“Temptation” 5/16/2016

I quit smoking on New Year’s Day this year. I do that every couple of years or so, and it often lasts for a few months or even several years. When I backslide, it’s often as a result of stress: death, divorce, depression, or something else that starts with “d.” So far this year I have stayed away from smoking, mostly through refusing to buy a pack no matter how much I am tempted. Nonetheless, after a couple of beers or whiskeys with friends, provided they are smoking themselves, I’ll indulge one or two. Depending on how much I have had to drink, I’ll smoke more. The next day I wake up feeling gross, my sinuses full of horrible things, my teeth coated with moss or lichen, and a general crustiness. Then the self-loathing strikes. Weirdly enough, or perhaps suitably enough, this bout of self-flagellation purges me of the urge to smoke again. At least until the next shot of bourbon.

To be clear, I’m laying no blame on anyone but myself. A friend of mine read this strip the day after we had been drinking and smoking at his place and quipped, “It looks like I’m a bad influence on you.” He’s not; the stress of life is — which means I need better coping mechanisms. Stay tuned for the strip about my addiction to chocolate and caffeine.

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