I bought a pack of cigarettes last Friday. In the midst of a torrential downpour, I found myself wading through ankle-deep water across College Walk just to go to the news stand where I've always bought my cigarettes, or almost always. Rose looked surprised when I asked for a pack of Camel lights, looked a little sad as she broke my twenty and gave me back a mere eight dollars. Usually when I stop by her stand these days, I am just picking up the daily papers for the library.
I've written about my on again off again love affair with smoking before, or mentioned it in passing in ways that make me remember all over again how integrated it was into certain periods of my life. Its role in keeping a single freshman year after my roommate moved out. The fact that nearly everyone in BG smoked. (A lot.)
It's been awhile since I last bought a pack of cigarettes (one year, one month, two weeks, six days, if the little quitting-smoking thing Evan set up on my computer last year is to be believed, which I believe it is), and even that was a one-off in the midst of another year of not smoking (or at least not buying) cigarettes. I've never given it up entirely (with two good friends who still smoke, and with whom I go out for drinks after work on a semi-regular basis, it's been hard to give it up entirely), but it's been a couple years since I thought of myself as a smoker.
Today I am trying to remember that feeling: the feeling of not feeling like I want a cigarette. Oh how I enjoyed my weekend of smoking, despite the noxious smell, the slight ache in the lungs, the constant hand-washing, the sore throat. But it will come back (that feeling, I mean), and in the meantime I fear I am eating instead. Pizza for lunch. A mid-afternoon chocolate break. Something delicious for dinner from the boy tonight. And there is some sort of Ben & Jerry's ice cream in the freezer, I'm almost certain. S'mores, I think. S'mores are way better than cigarettes, right?