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giving up


You know, it’s not what it does to your health that makes you try to quit.
It can kill you dead or lead you down a thousand paths to fucked.
But that’s fine.
It’s worth it.

It’s not really the fear of going to prison either.
It’s a pretty queasy feeling sometimes.
But you’ve got the medicine to fix that too.

And it’s not because it takes over so much of your life.
It’s fair sacrifice.
You get something better than life in return.

But there’s the lies and the things you need to hide.
Not living up to what you hoped you were.
Day in. Day out.
Something’s gotta give.

It’s not the withdrawals that stop you going clean.
The cramps. The runs. The puke. The cold sweats.
Re-entry into the world of pain.
It’s only really bad for week or so.
The pain stays but slowly recedes to life as usual.
That’s not the hard bit.

It can take a while to realise what else you’re giving up.
Your daily routine. Your regular places. Your friends.
There can be a bit of a learning curve there.
And a hump to get over.
But it can be done.

Then, just when you’re nearly there, you remember.
In your mind and in your body.
And you want it. Really want it.
One more time.

From → poetry, slash poetry

  1. For Fox Sake permalink

    Many years ago, I decided to quilt smoking. Then I realised that doing so
    meant that I no longer needed this lovely cut-glass ashtray that
    had been a wedding gift from my mother’s best friend. A woman who
    provided food and shelter in the aftermath of my mother’s first
    suicide attempt (when I was almost three). I wasn’t ready to stop
    using that ashtray, so I continued to smoke and to enjoy the
    post-prandial, post-coital, post-defecation fags.

    It is clear to me now, that the ashtray symbolized an experience I had
    lived through which nobody else had been present to witness my response.
    People who thought that if they never ever referred to it, I would remain
    unaffected and oblivious to yet another near-death experience at the
    hands of a psychotic parent.

    I sure fooled them.

    I always receive such a rush from your words, my fine feathered friend.
    In the immortal words of Hugh Grant who paraphrased David Cassidy:
    I think I love you.


    • Oh come on. You kept smoking because your ashtray was so nice?
      Or are you saying you started smoking because someone nice gave you an ashtray?
      I’ve gotta admit I’ve never heard those ones before.

      Fortunately I was psychotic before reproducing myself so I got to decide whether to be a psychotic parent or not.

      While I can see the appeal in conducting a huge social and psychological experiment upon my own offspring – you know, maybe go for IVF and do some twin studies – I decided I might have better things to channel my psychoses into.

      Are you on palliative care now?
      It seems like maybe you’re on something.
      Dying cancer patients get all the best drugs.

      It just won’t be the same trying to divine your comments from crocodile droppings though.
      (hey, didn’t Reggie Dwight do a song about that?).


      • For Fox Sake permalink

        I’ve gotta admit I’ve never heard those ones before

        Well now you can die content in the knowledge that you’ve heard most of it all.
        If memory scares me correct, I had already a smoker because people don’t tend
        to give nonsmokers ashtrays unless, of course, they are tightarses and regifting.
        Which was very likely the case.

        Indeedy-doo, I am saying that I chose to not quit smoking at that time because I
        didn’t want to break up with my Bohemia cut-glass crystal ashtray. First hurdle
        on the path to Buddhism for Dummies.

        Not stretched out on a pallet yet, darls, but I could be channeling Susan Sontag

        My fascination with
        Stripping conditions
        Minimum conditions (from Robinson Crusoe to concentration camps)
        Silence, muteness,

        SS, 1965

        As for the augurizing of reptilian faecal matter, I was fantasizing that you’d
        rock into Harrolds and track down the custom-made crocodile-leather smart
        phone and give me a booty call. Code word Reggie because Rosebud is



        • I chose to not quit smoking at that time because I
          didn’t want to break up with my Bohemia cut-glass crystal ashtray.

          I reckon you willfully misinterpreted your friend’s gift.

          When did you get it?
          Till death do you part and all that?
          It was obviously for your husband’s ashes. Every now and again you were supposed to remind him of how good he’d look in blue.
          Would have done wonders for your marriage.

          So Sontag could be a vajrayana ‘woman of wisdom’ if not for the stuff about the strippers. Strippers have probably ruined a lot of good careers.

          And don’t get above yourself.
          Only the trendiest salon-going saurians get to be designer accessory bags. They wouldn’t be caught dead chowing down on something as rustic as a slow local or an oblivious tourist.
          Your one will probably get cut up and mounted on wood for a line of croc-motifed souvenirs for Chinese tour groups.


  2. For Fox Sake permalink

    Every now and again you were supposed to remind him of how good he’d look in blue.
    Would have done wonders for your marriage.

    This is true. It may only been from fright, but at least he would have gone stiff.


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