(a column about what I think)

Why I hate quitting smoking

by Pinky

So I'm trying to quit smoking right now. I have been for three long tortuous days. Every time someone has told me that I need to quit smoking, I tell them that I don't want to, because I will be a total bitch on wheels. This has indeed come to pass. To quote a guy I used to work with, "I hate everything and everyone." He would end that with, "except you, of course," because I was fixing his computer at the time. But still.

I hate everything and everyone. I'm in the BART station in the morning, watching people go by, and what am I saying to myself? Girlfriend, the hair, pleeeeazzze. Oh, yeah, Mr. All That, gimme that smirk one more time, oh, it gets me so hot, do me right now behind the escalator. And don't even think about bumping into me. I've actually bent down past the yellow zone to take a closer look at where the third rail is, and I know exactly where to push people.

I ran into a woman I know who just cut all her hair off. She said it was either get a divorce or a hair cut. I said, I don't know whether to cut my hair or my wrists. Auuuuggghhh! I mean, let me tell you. I get this awful squeezing feeling in my chest, twisting my lungs. When that happens, the next thing I know I'm totally yelling at someone, or telling a friend how irredeemably ugly I am.

This sucks.

So why am I doing it? Right now I feel like I got brow-beaten into it, like, fuck you all you righteous and sappy fucking healthy people, yeah, you should quit smoking cuz smoking is baaaaad. Well, fuck that. My best friend quit smoking the day before I did, and she's being so self-righteous about it. I haven't had a cigarette since I ran out on Sunday night, she says. Yeah, well, big ole stomping deal; she only smokes three a day as it is, and they're menthol at that. Me, a pack and a half of Camel Lights every single day, maybe more if I'm fucked up or really bored. So don't get all high-horsed with me about your amazing will power if you don't have anything to really take control of. My best friend ALSO says that if she quits successfully and I don't I'm going to resent her for succeeding where I failed. I think not. I think, how nice for you that you can quit smoking when you're not really a smoker to begin with, good for you, you'll be gorgeous your whole life and won't die of lung cancer.

She also says that I have to quit because if I don't I'll be ugly when I'm 40 and all the men will look at her and not at me. Not what I would call great inspiration. Right now I don't give a hairy rat's ass WHAT men think of me, or anybody else, for that matter. I've been wearing my glasses and black jeans and a baseball hat and I look like either a total dyke or some sort of pissed off riot grrl. No makeup. Listening to Ani diFranco, my favorite pissed off riot grrl. Ever heard, "I Could Be the Million that You Never Made,"? You could start a mosh pit to that song. I live alone, so I've been moshing by myself. With the cats. They don't mind.

I've been reading zines like "Bitch Rag" and "The Joy of Revenge". I want revenge against all these holier-than-thou people who just keep going on and on about the evils of smoking. They act like people who smoke are fundamentally stupid. Maybe we are. I could kick myself for starting smoking in the first place. But I am so tired of seeing these new, freshly scrubbed looking "healthy" girls. They go to the gym constantly, always have a bottle of some foofy bottled water in their well manicured hands, go out to restaurants together and drive the poor waitress crazy by ordering everything nonfat and on the side. Clean teeth, clean lungs, clean living, they probably have really clean apartments too.

And, of course, you can't smoke in them. So unless you want to go down five flights of stairs and stand on the corner looking like some sort of sheepish outcast, we're back to square one.

Of course, some really cute bike messenger boy just winked at me, and I got all embarrassed and hid under the brim of my baseball cap. I hate quitting smoking.

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