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September 13, 2015 / thackersam

September 13 – The Walrus Don’t Smoke No More

walrus smokingSI’ve decided to call my Manhattan friend who no longer lives in the City nor state, but comes into town two days a week for her job, Gilda. Gilda stays with me once a month or so. She still smokes and in the more than three years since I quit, I’ve had no problem with her smoking in my place, except in the winter, but that’s because she has to smoke by an open window. Her rule, not mine.

In those first several months as a “non-smoker,” I would bum a cigarette now and then, comfortable with the fact that it was home-smoking and ennui that were my downfall and I could handle having a cigarette outside with the smokers every few months. When Gilda and Vicki and my other friends would come over to my place for our semi regular gatherings, I wouldn’t bum. I wasn’t at all interested in smoking during the festivities until I’d be cleaning up afterward and would root through Gilda’s ashtray for a smokable butt with a couple of hits on it. But she smokes them down to the bone. Except this morning after one of her sleepovers. As she finished her morning cigarette, she pointed out how good she had been because of the seven cigarettes she had smoked during her visit, one was smoked only halfway.

“That’s not halfway,” I disagreed, while reminding myself that I used to smoke Eve 120s for which the halfway mark might come awfully close to the length of the nubby Parliaments Gilda smokes.

No, it wasn’t halfway, but as I would half-heartedly berate her for not leaving a shred of cig for me to partake of one single puff, Gilda said, “well, you were always looking for that hit.” I was never a morning smoker and we were getting ready for work, so it didn’t get a second thought. Barely a first. But then I get home and I have to go through this thing with yet another Time Warner Cable technician (They are the worst. I think TWC must outsource to Happyland where they get people who won’t get perturbed and just give them a manual. They remain friendly at all times but can’t fix a damn thing that’s out of the ordinary. And they really don’t want you to ask for an appointment. They must lose points for that). I wasn’t as frazzled as I could have been considering the problem has still not been fixed and many of the channels are black, and I have not been able to watch Judge Judy. But I’ve been sensing a separation from the television of late, and not having it is not the big deal it once was.

So I came over here to write, to the spot next to my bed where I keep my notebook for basic thoughts and stuff. Okay, yes, it’s a journal. This is not to be confused with the notebook I keep on the coffee table in which I write my blog ideas. It’s there because in my alcove studio apartment, that’s closest to where I exercise. That notebook is filled with the initial renditions of posts, and many stories that never make it off the pages and into the computer, rarely directly into the blog itself until version two. I also keep a notebook in my headboard or sometimes in the bag that I carry my laptop in as that one contains my play notes in the front with a copy of the play that still needs a bit of re-writing of the fourth scene, and the erotic murder stories with their notes in the back of the notebook.

But I came over to the bed to write in this notebook, to journal something about Gilda and I remembered that I hadn’t emptied Gilda’s ashtray, which is what we call it now (please note that it’s not really called “Gilda’s ashtray” as we’ve already established that Gilda is a fictitious name for this particular person, but we do refer to said ashtray as belonging to her using her real name). I turned to look behind me at the windowsill. Yep, still there. That’s when I thought about that butt, that smokable butt that had one, maybe two hits left on it. And then I wrote this, what I’m writing now, knowing that when I am done I have a decision to make. Once the butt hits the garbage however, that’s it. I hate to clean, so emptying the ashtray was the least I could do. Clean or smoke. It actually wasn’t that hard and the butt hit the garbage, which means we should be doubly proud of me. I not only did not smoke, I tidied up as well.

Btw – It should be noted that I dislike the term journaling. It always seemed just too darned girlie for my taste, but I am relenting a little these days due to its usefulness. And I’m becoming less of a hardass. It should also be noted that three days after the pact with the ex expired and we started a new one, I reached my original goal weight meaning that I am off to a great start on the next and instead of having 5lbs to lose by Halloween I now have less than three and a half to go. And one more btw, if you don’t mind – I am just loving last year’s thrift store find, best of Bob Dylan album that I haven’t taken out since I exercised to it last October. It’s the 1967 Greatest Hits. Good stuff. And my cable, while a wee bit better, is still not working right.


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  1. Cjk / Sep 14 2015 3:32 am

    Reading this post was a lot like listening to you speak.

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