The act of smoking cigarettes is inherently irrational. It has been conclusively proven that smoking cigarettes is severely bad for your health and that it will very likely lead to a premature cancerous death. It fucks up your skin, yellows your teeth, and I also hear that it makes your cum taste rank. It seems quite adverse to the innate human drive for self-preservation, and it doesn’t do much for your sex appeal.
I’m someone who prides myself on living a very healthy lifestyle. I abide by a healthy vegetarian diet, I rarely consume unhealthy foods, and I’m physically active. I do however; smoke cigarettes on a very regular basis. Not excessively, but a regular and hearty 5 or 6 a day. More if I’m drinking.
Why are these cancerous tobacco sticks so damn appealing to me?
A lot of different things come to my mind when I think about smoking. Everything from depraved meth addicts with no teeth and thugged out suburban teenagers adorned in extra-large Tupac shirts to the ever so-suave Don Draper from Mad Men and the refined literary characters in the works of Hemingway and Salinger. Nonetheless, there seems to be something about those short-lived and insatiable nicotine rushes that cause people from all different walks of life to smoke; the lone financial businessman taking a break outside of the high rise office building and the large mass of bloodstained factory workers huddled in the pouring rain outside of the meat packing plant.
Every time I step outside to smoke, whether it’s a break at work or outside my basement apartment at 4 AM, I experience a very brief moment during which everything is still. I take solace in these moments – I’m standing outside and am doing absolutely nothing except inhaling deep breaths of exhilarating chemical-laden smoke between refreshing breaths of fresh air. I enjoy the relaxing rush of the nicotine coursing through my veins, as my body gently numbs and my mind begins to clear ever so slightly. The experience may seem rather miniscule and insignificant in the context of everyday life, lasting only a few short minutes at a time. However, these short moments represent something much more than a cheap chemical-induced rush. A successful cigarette break will have one feeling a little bit more composed and ready to continue. Whether it’s the momentary escape from the fact that the love of your life is fucking your best friend or just escaping the brutal physical and mental anguish of working in a factory, these moments allow one to ever so slightly transcend and persevere through the existential crisis that is life.
Whether I’m walking through cigarette littered streets, huddled with other smokers on a cold winter day or simply sharing a cigarette with the homeless woman with the cat, I can’t help but feel an ever so slight connection and sense of solidarity with all those in humanity who are just trying to get through life. Perhaps, if we’re lucky enough, we can maybe even enjoy a cigarette together to celebrate that we’ve made it this far.
So, to all those who have ever told me that I should quit smoking, fuck you.