February 25th, 2008


Ever Moving Forwards

There’s something about cigarettes.

Days like these, when my heart’s hanging like granite in my chest cavity, I want a cigarette. Very specifically a cigarette. See, the psychological addiction to smoking’s not just formed around the basic oral fixation. If it were, then a pipe or cigar would work just the same. But to a smoker, especially a smoker who has tried (and been addicted to) all three, they’re each unique.

A pipe is for enjoying, for savoring. It’s not the kind of thing that one inhales from out of a need for nicotine, it’s something that you smoke for the taste and the feel of the smoke itself. It’s a stationary thing, smoking a pipe, and something that you do out of want rather than need.

What I feel now is that need. I want a thin, nasty cigarette. Marlboro Lights for preference. Flick the pack open with a thumb, then raise a single straight and grasp it in the teeth. The clink and the scratch of the zippo lighter. Suck on that filter-tip like the black nipple of addiction that it is. Smoking from need rather than want.

I dunno why I need to smoke. I’m… nostalgic, I guess.

Developments this week have got me thinking about my life, about the road I’ve taken to get to where I am. And let’s face it, I’ve hardly had the most exciting ten years. But, well, I can’t go back. Life doesn’t give any Mulligans, do-overs are entirely verboten.

Could I have done things differently? Sure. But then, I wouldn’t be me. I mean, how could I try to recapture anything? I suppose I could go back to being an alcoholic chain-smoker, fooling myself that I’m being “cool” and “edgy”, when all I’m really doing is killing myself, never thinking about tomorrow.

It’s thinking about the future that’s got me thinking about the past. About who I was and who I could have been. And when I’m being honest with myself, I’m happy enough with who I am and where everything’s going. There’s a “but”, though. I wouldn’t mind crossing over, living for a time in those other heads. I’d like a chance to find out what another life would be like. I don’t want to fuck with the life I have in order to try these things, though. That’d be pointless and destructive.

At some point, you have to say “I’ve made these decisions, and I have to live with the consequences.” More and more I’m coming to realise that I’m at that point now.

Some people might say “The consequences only matter if you let them.” Which is a true and valid point. But a life that doesn’t deal with the consequences is a life devoid of impact and meaning. I don’t want that.

I do want a smoke, because that’s what I want when I’m being melancholic. But for the first time in ages, I don’t want a smoke in the back yard of my student house, I don’t want a smoke when I’m walking the streets of Munich. I want the smoke that defines the now—the most important smoke to me at this time. And that’s the smoke that I’m not going to have.

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I should probably point out that, despite how the last post came over, I'm really feeling quite up-beat.

I like my life. I like the choices that I have made, the actions that I have taken. And I'm looking forwards to the consequences.

So there's no need to worry.
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