Monday at 5 a.m. I emailed Love Affair to see if he wanted to perhaps take a road trip with me over winter break. Today he emailed me back and said yes!
This fills me with tempered elation and anxiety, the healthiest mixture of emotions that a recently quit smoker can possibly enjoy. So, sometime during my week in San Francisco, I'll escape somewhere along the West Coast with my broken-off love affair. This gives me 6 weeks to lose 30 pounds.
God, I'm just kidding. Shut the fuck up! The most I can hope for is 5 pounds. Or, with the way I'm eating lately, the best I can hope for is a maximum gain of 3.
The Quit has faltered recently, with me smoking half a cigarette last night and the night before. The NicA meetings have proven to be helpful; addicts are so nice! The other night I walked into this church basement on the Upper West Side and I felt like all two old men in there were staring at me. I've had similar feelings of demographic alienation in mental health groups of past, where it's a bunch of old white guys and me. Then they talk about the Vietnam War and I feel like I remind them of all the villagers they gunned down while listening to Wagner in a helicopter.
This one guy gave me the especially hard once-over, but I stayed, and then I loved him. He'd been a smoker for what, 40 years, and recently quit a few years ago. He said something along the lines of, "For the first time in my life I'm dealing with my emotions...I feel like a little girl sometimes! But it's good."
A lot smokers talk about the "smoke screen," using smoking as an avoidance tactic with anything from awkward social situations to extreme personal emotions. That's how I'm feeling lately, and it's weird to recognize these patterns from your past.
After the meeting this born-again man approached me after the meeting and gave me words of encouragement. "Keep coming back," he told me. "When I first quit, I came to a meeting every night."
What drove me to my first break up my complete Tobacco Abstinence was my disappointing Crazy Blind Date. The guy looked like an overweight Marv Alberts:
But with worse skin. Let me tell you how CBD works. First you create a mini profile where you answer, briefly, what you are good at talking about, what you expectations are, and what you look like. You upload a photo, but they blur it out until after your date with said person. Then you answer like 10 short questions. You tell them you're free at a certain time and can get to certain neighborhoods, and if/when (they're still in Beta) they find you a date, they text you to look at the person's profile, and then you accept/decline. I should have declined because he said he wasn't a drinker (ultimatums scare me), but I accepted because he, like me, said he had no expectations whatsoever. That, and he was a classical composer, which blows my fucken mind. They tell you where you're going to meet, which dude picked out, he told me, from a list of pre-approved locations. A half-hour before the date, CBD enables text messaging to happen anonymously, by texting through their service. Kind of cool.
Too bad there was zero attraction.
To be fair, he was fine as a person and a pretty courteous date, not too hard to make conversation with, etc. But he made me feel kind of made me wonder why I'm trying so hard to be with someone that I'll be willing to spend all of this time and energy with people like him.
He asked me if I could be doing anything at the moment, and I said: drugs.
I knew I was going to smoke a cigarette as soon as I got home. I tried to wait it out, but only so I could tell my Quit Counselor that I did give it the full 10 minutes for it to pass, but it wasn't that kind of craving. It was the kind of thing where you want to talk to that one friend you have who can make you feel better without saying a word, and I needed that hug. And you know what, I didn't feel bad about it at all.