Thursday, April 21, 2005

Take My Vice, Please

My apologies to PantherGirl for the following post:

Nicotine. Unlike coffee, this is a vice I would rather not have. My history with cigarettes reads like a soap opera script. Girl meets smoke, girls falls in love with smoke, girl gets caught with smoke by parents, girl and smoke are forced to separate, girl longs for smoke but settles for twinkie, girl and smoke are reunited, smoke abuses girl but girl is sure she can change smoke, etc...

I was somewhat of a rebellious teen, but no where near as adept at rebellion as my friend over at A Dog's Breakfast (and I bow to you, oh sneaky one.) Sarg kept a tight ship, so my rebellion had to be accomplished in a two-hour period, once a week. So my bagely jew friend and I would hitch a ride downtown in search of a horny Indiana University freshman who would gladly buy us cigarettes in exchange for the broken-promise of some under-age booty. Pack in hand, hand in hand, we made our way to People's Park to hang out with the other rebellious kids. *note to those in the Bloomington area (Scheiss, Garrison...) - People's was NEVER a place to score drugs. I don't care what you read in the Herald-Times... the kids at People's weren't stupid enough to buy/sell drugs that close to campus. If you wanted to score some good pot, you went to Walter M's house. The kids at People's just smoked cigarettes and played hackey sack.*

I quit smoking when I got pregnant with CadyBug. It was not hard - every damned smell made me sick for three months anyhow. I stayed nicotine-free until after CuddleBug was born and I was forced into the working world. My first job? Bartender at a strip club - tell me with a job like that, in a place like that, you're gonna stay smoke-free? I gave in to the pleasure of a good drag and resumed my abusive relationship with Philip-Morris.

Then I met the baby Jesus. The baby Jesus didn't like it when I smoked. Lighting up a Camel made the baby Jesus cry. Plus, if I got caught smoking, I'd get kicked out of the choir, right Scotty? So I quit - again - and stayed clean for six years. Six years!!!

Flash forward: Nashville, TN - June 2001. A recording project a full year in the making has just been completed, but instead of celebrating with my producer (yes, Seth) and band, I'm alone in a hotel. My children are home with their daddy, my darling LoveBug is far far from me, and I'm experiencing a distinct feeling of restlessness and disappointment. I've taken the baby Jesus out of that horrible church he was trapped in, so no one will care if I smoke cigarettes or snort crack. My recording project is over, so no one will really cares if my voice is scratchy... and before I know it, I've left the hotel lobby with a can of diet coke and a pack of Marlboros. Sitting on the balcony of my hotel room overlooking the vacationing families playing Marco Polo, I light up an old friend and take comfort in the familiar arms of a cancer-producing lover.

Let's face it; I've got an oral fixation. If you try to take it from me... well, you can. I'm just about through punishing my body for someone else's sins.