After the first full week of no smoking, changes have already started to occur, things like my lung capacity, my sense of smell, the awareness to those around me smoking. Especially those in my apartment complex. Especially those nearest my own windows who happen to be smoking near their windows and whose smoke happens to waft ever so gently into my apartment. I’m fine with this, I mean, surely enough of my smoke has invaded some other non smokers place, so its all fair in love and not smoking. But the awareness is interesting. Awareness is a motherfucker.
I went to the market today, to get flowers and coconut cakes. The flower buds are all closed and will open sometime in the next week. Usually within the first three days. I’ve dropped the coffee thing almost entirely because it is too much of a trigger, as soon as I have the warm cup in my hand I want a smoke, and so the best way around it is to not drink coffee. This has caused headaches and the typical withdraw, I do whatever it takes to not smoke which leads to murderous notions toward random passers by, excessive walking of my dog Saucerton (who has a ton of energy and is ready to go at most any moment of the day but days like today where I want a fucking smoke it’s necessary to hike a serious hike, a 5 mile hike, and I think my dog is over it. Over the new lung power. This was walk number two of the day.), chewing on straws, in fact, finding straws cut up in the size of cigarettes around my home bringing me back to the cocaine cowgirl days, and gum gum everywhere, wrappers in my jeans, all over my purse, dreams that I am chewing gum (thanks to patch dreams which I very much enjoy). Quitting smoking is so gnarley that it has completely overshadowed quitting everything else in my life. I just don’t remember struggling during this first seven days when I quit booze, sex and drugs as I am quitting cigarettes. Perhaps because when I quit the first three I was locked up at Pasadena Recovery Center, with cameras following every step.
After the market, the five mile hike. After the five mile hike, the store for Ben and Jerry’s, the New York Giants game. After the game, sushi. Filled to the brim with activity. Don’t know where I’d find time to smoke a cigarette really. Just not that much time in the day. However….
This whole experience, this new relationship with awareness, has made me uncomfortably in touch with the fact that at times I am present, and at other times, I am in outer space. Like tonight, getting ready to go watch the game. Ding ding, the little iphone text lets me know where I am going to be viewing America’s favorite past time, and I hop in the shower. My mind is not where my hands are, shampooing my hair, it is already at the bar, wondering how exactly it is that any person can watch a football game without an ice cold beer. When I’m washing my body I wondering what people do during commercials if not smoke cigarettes. Conditioner to make my hair soft, hands on my face with a green tea face wash, wondering what in the world I am going to do to pass the time. How in the world will I be able to see a football game, how will I be able to yell, and cheer, how will I relax and get pumped about the next play, how will I high five if I have two hands free? And how the fuck am I going to do this all season?
I want to watch the Raiders game, as they are my team, but it feels a little too emotional. I feel too connected, have been kicked out of too many games for drunken shenanigans, have lost my cool in too many bars during commercials, and am too tied to the team to experience it without drink or smoke. A Raiders game sober and smoke free cannot be a real game. That’s fairy tale shit. So I watched the Giants, with some homeboys, figuring I’m not so emotionally tied to this game, so I will give it a test run. If it goes well, if I have a good time and don’t get fucked up or smoke cigarettes, maybe I’ll step it up and watch a Bronco’s game, being that Denver is my town of birth. If that goes well, maybe, just maybe I can watch a Raiders game. But definitely not if it is on a Monday night, because Monday night football definitely equals drinking and chain smoking. And we all know that I’m just not ready for that. At least Sunday it’s somewhat early, and people have work the next day. People have work on Tuesdays too but for some reason Monday morning carries a lot more weight than Tuesday. Monday is a good night to get shit faced and watch football. I’m not ready for Raiders on Mondays.
After this monologue, I put the towel down, now damp from drying off post shower, and start to lotion, make-up, blowdry and dress.
I hope that Saucy isn’t too tired from all our walking. I wish that she could just say whether or not she gets too tired with all the new walking we’ve been doing, or if she is stoked on it. I mean if I were a dog, I’d be totally stoked that my owner quit smoking and is now taking me on walks all day long, but I bet I’d get tired at some point and just want to chill. She probably won’t mind chilling while I’m at this game. I wonder if the bar is going to be packed. It’s probably going to be somewhat packed i mean it is football night, and people do enjoy drinking and watching football and I certainly enjoy drinking and watching football and smoking, especially smoking outside bars where you can hear people inside cheering for their teams. I wonder if I’ll be able to hear people inside cheering for the Giants when I walk in. I bet when I walk in they will be right in front of the tv. Maybe to the left a little. I wonder how the bar is set up.
I run out of the house, watch the game (without a hitch or a smoke), stay entirely present throughout, except when the ding ding of my phone would remind me that there are other people in the world outside of the bar who are not watching the game at this precise moment and have decided it’s best to text me and see what I’m doing to which I respond “Watching the game.” Game is over. Sushi is on. Present. Accounted for. Yummy Hot Roll Night II.
I return to my house, walk through the door, and am excited for the ice cream purchased earlier in the evening. Unfortunately, earlier, while I was physically showering and mentally at the bar worrying about watching football sans booze and smokes, I was unable to physically and mentally put the ice cream in the freezer. So I came home to a melted jar of Half Baked, sitting on my counter. An excellent reminder of why to stay present. If I had just handled the things right in front of me at the time, I would be eating delicious frozen delights right now. Instead I am left with a cup of cookie dough brownie soup, which is tasty, but not the same.
Also, one of the twelve buds has started to bloom. Just one petal, jetting off less that an inch. But it has started already. The bloom.