To celebrate my first day of a smoking cessation program I enjoyed a full pack of cigarettes. I’ve begun taking a prescription medication to quit smoking, one that causes some people to develop suicidal tendencies and act violently, but the worst side effect I’ve experienced so far is gas. Not just any gas, but legendary, prolific gas. If I put a kazoo up my rear, I could blow the entirety of “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana. During the first week of this program, I'm allowed to smoke my face off. If I have one left after the gas attack.
Pardon me. Excuse me. “Life begins as a gaseous cloud,” I tell myself. “These are not farts – these are my nebulas.”
The pill I am taking works like this: It finds the pleasure centers in my brain where nicotine parties, and then refuses admittance to any and all comers. Nicotine is deflected and thus, I lose what I like to call The Ahh Factor while smoking. Without the Ahh I don’t receive a punch of dopamine when smoking, but I am suddenly aware of heaviness in my lungs, the wreaking stench of cigarettes and my overburdened ashtray.
You wouldn't believe what I've done in the past to keep smoking. I've stood outside in blizzards and thunderstorms. I've picked up lit cigarettes I dropped on the pavement to spare my fix, places where dogs poop and bums stew. I have gone out of my way to make time, space and money for this habit because I enjoyed it very much. Turns out I don't really like smoking. I'm just in it for dopamine.
I bought a pair of sandals earlier this summer, and I never wear them because they make a farting sound when I walk. I put on those sandals yesterday and when I got my stride on, I sounded just like an idling tiller. This quit-smoking program is making me famous in ways I could only dream about.
Gotta run now – it’s time for my pill.
Later today: A story about the chickens in my neighborhood. In