I recently quit smoking. Before you let go with your “Good for you!”, let’s get something straight. I didn’t quit smoking because I wanted to. I quit because, at the age of 50, there are still things I want to do in my life that would be hampered by pushing an oxygen tank in front of me. But I have lost some of the dearest friends in my life. The times when my soul soared, cigarettes were there to help me celebrate. When my heart lay bleeding and broken on the ground, cigarettes comforted me and got me through. When I was bored they gave me something to do, and when I was busy, they gave me the energy to go on.
I am grieving the loss of my closest companions, and if I live to be 65, any true friend will buy me a pack of Player’s Light Kings, because at that age, I won’t care any more, and I fully intend to take up smoking again on my 65th birthday. Your “Congratulations!” and “Good for you!” rankle me. What you’re really saying is “Good, now God can love you again. Now that you’re finally giving up the really horrible sin, perhaps you can start working on your more minor faults, like diddling youngsters or beating your wife.” Smoking Nazis drive me nuts, and I don’t need your condescension. What I need is a cigarette so I can blow smoke in your smug judgmental face. Either sympathize with me for my loss, or keep your mouth shut, because the next person who says “Good for you!” is getting a tap, I swear to God.
Rant by Ford Elms