Life in Progress: A weblog by Heidi Price
10/18/2006

Secret smoker

The camera pans to the box-like booth of a BP station. It is late at night.

A woman gets out of a black compact car and walks toward the garbage can. She looks around furtively and then takes the lid off. At the clerk's questioning glance, she tells him she thinks she may have dropped her wallet in there. Then she reaches into the garbage can and pulls out the pack of cigarettes, the same one she has thrown away hours earlier.

"Did you find it?" the helpful clerk asks.

"No," the woman says, and gets back in her car. Her hand shakes as she lights the soft white stick. Just a few hours earlier, she swore she would never smoke again.

Another night, the camera pans to a yellow, sunny kitchen where a woman tries to microwave a cigarette that is water-soaked because, an hour earlier, she has run water over the pack. A few hours earlier, she swore it would be her last pack. She soon learns that cigarettes do not microwave very well. Sometimes they just explode, coating the inside of the microwave with little brown tobacco leaves.

The woman has been leading a secret life these past weeks. After almost a year of not smoking, she crashed and she crashed big. She has been lying to the person she swore she would never lie to.

"I didn't smoke," she swears adamantly when he smells it on her breath one night.

Finally, she admits everything. She tells him that she will do good, maybe three or four days without smoking, and then she crashes.

She admits that she definitely needs help, that some nights she wants a cigarette so badly she shakes. They go to the store and buy Nicorette gum. He doesn't make a big deal out of it. He is not judgmental and that is one reason she loves him.

It's the funniest thing. Ever since she confessed, she doesn't want a cigarette so badly. She seems to have lost her shakes too. She knows there are rough times ahead but she vows to take it one minute at a time and try again.

4 Comments:

Greg Tarr said...

I won't post a link. All you have to do is Google image search "Throat Cancer".

11:35 AM  
Anonymous said...

I remember one New Year's Eve about 15 years ago, I threw a pack of cigarettes out of my car window somewhere in New Castle Pa. On my way back to College the next day, I pulled the car over, found the smokes, and picked them up.

I ended up finally quitting 4 years later.

Keep trying.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous said...

Heidi,
I got the flu in 1987. I coughed so bad I was seeing stars. I was convinced I was going to die all alone in my apartment and the dog would start eating my corpse after a few days of not being fed.
I had a full pack of Merit Menthols on the coffee table. For once I didn't pitch them or pour coffee grounds over them and stuff them in the bottom of the kitchen trash. Instead I left them there, unopened. I said, if you really, really need one..there they are.
For some reason that was when I finally quit.
I've been free of that miserable two to three pack a day habit ever since.
I'm FREE!!!
I also gained 60 pounds....that's another blog.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous said...

I happened onto this site and it is good to know that other people have struggled to quit. I have been trying to quit for 3 years and after many attempts still have not been sucessful. I keep trying and one day I will suceed. keep on trying is the motto.

1:08 PM  

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