It’s hard for me to understand addiction because I don’t know what it feels like to not be able to say no to something. I’ve been sitting here trying to think of one thing I’m addicted to, but I can’t.
Sometimes I feel kind of boring.
Then I think of the alternative: Chuck. (Poor Chuck. He’s like my little blog lab rat.)
Seven years ago, on Chuck’s 30th birthday, he and his best friend made a pact to quit smoking. The stakes were high. I told Chuck’s friends that after that day, if they could produce physical proof of Chuck smoking I would give them $500.
Chuck made it three months.
I didn’t have to shell out a dime because I caught Chuck red-handed myself. And truthfully, I never would have paid those idiots any money anyway. But dammit, the last few years have been painful. Chuck’s tried everything. He’s been hypnotized three times. He’s tried the patch. The gum. He quit cold turkey. Hot turkey. Turkey with giblets. Weird herbal supplements. You name it.
Then the supreme ultimate cosmic make-you-quit-smoking event occurred: Junior was born.
Contrary to what I’d hoped, that didn’t help Chuck quit. I don’t smoke, but I learned that if there’s anything that makes you want to smoke more, it’s a crying newborn and a hormonal wife who’s recovering from C-section complications and having trouble breastfeeding.
Puff, puff, puff that stick!
In Chuck’s defense, he’s whittled his habit down to 2-3 cigarettes a day. But of course, I want him to quit completely. He’s pretended he has, but hello, men who are all too eager to run errands at strange hours are clearly hiding something. Especially when they come home reeking of hand sanitizer and have enough mint gum in their mouth to stuff a sausage.
Besides, I do the laundry and we all know the truth comes out in the laundry.
Damn those vile cancer sticks.
Then, today, I went to plug my phone in when I saw this:
It's Chuck newest effort. It's an FDA-approved electronic cigarette.
When you exhale, water mist shoots out. It also plays "She'll be coming round the mountain" and doubles as a pocket vibrator.
Kidding and optimistic.
It goes without saying that I really hope this works. Chuck says he can already tell his cravings are less, but I've heard that before. It's hard watching someone struggle with addiction. I wish I could stop for him. I wish he had a non-lethal habit like picking his nose or knitting. I wish he'd never started.
Most of all, I wish I could quiet the voice that says, Here we go again. Chuck's inability to kick his addiction is turning into my addiction; there are better things to be addicted to.
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