Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Triumph of the Human Will (Cheating Allowed)


I haven't had a cigarette since Monday night, but I can't claim to have quit smoking. About once a day I've been smoking half of a Black & Mild (call me a sissy, I like the "Wine" flavor). The rest of the time, I'm chewing the nicotine gum but I find myself wanting that less and less for some reason. For the most part, I do not constantly think about smoking anymore. And when I do, the gum always takes the craving away instantly, and leaves me feeling satisfied.

I don't know if I'd feel as satisfied without knowing I'm going to sit outside in the cool night air before bed and inhale some smoke. So I don't mean to give myself undue credit by saying this next bit: I'm damn proud of myself. I smoked a pack and a half a day, easy. Now I'm down to half a cigar. Even if that's no statistical improvement of my chances to avoid some nasty disease, for me it's nothing less than a monumental triumph of the human will. Discipline is not among my many virtues. So I'm allowing myself a hardy pat on the back for NOT smoking the 140 some-odd cigarettes I would have normally smoked since Tuesday morning, and I'll conveniently ignore for now the four and half little cigars I have smoked.

I've had to adjust my behavior a bit, and I have yet to hit some big challenges. Rocket to Saturn is playing a show tonight. We're playing last at Davey's (again), which means if I show up at 9 p.m. (the traditional time bands show up) I'll be sitting there until at least 12:30 a.m. waiting to go on. That's a lot of time to get tipsy. I haven't been drunk since I "quit smoking" and I don't want to take any chances yet. So I'm going to get there late - as late as I possibly can - and then just hit the set and get the hell out of there.

Normally I'd be excited about this show. Rocket to Saturn hasn't done a full set in a while, and this will probably be the last time we play the set we've been playing for the past year or so, as we're set to take the next stage and start writing some new material. So I will play this show professionally, as opposed to "partying" and keep my focus clear until this demon has left me completely. He's still hanging on with at least one claw, and it would only take a few beers to obliterate a week's worth of good behavior.

And with that, I think I'll have a refreshing piece of Wal-Mart brand nicotine gum.

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