smoke gets in pamie’s eyes

I have been reading this.
It is an article on smoking and people sharing their smoking stories. How they started, how they quit, how they started again.

I couldn’t even finish reading the whole thing without going out for a cigarette.

I smoke and I like to smoke and I know that it’s terrible, I know it’s filthy, I know that I shouldn’t. I know that people die, I know they get sick. I know, I know, I know.

Both of my parents smoked. I used to hate their smoking. School had taught me that cigarettes were bad and I couldn’t believe that my parents would knowingly do something bad. I knew that they were good people and it was up to me to help them out.

So I started throwing away their cigarettes. After my punishment had ended, I realized that I was only hurting myself in hiding their cigs, so I went to my trusty magic kit and pulled out my cigarette bangers. If you’ve never seen these, it’s a piece of explosive that they let kids have for like, three dollars. You pull out this small white piece of TNT and insert it in the end of a cigarette. You put it in deep or they can see it sticking out the end. You put the cigarette back in the pack and wait for hilarity to ensue.

I’m like Jokey Smurf waiting in the next room for my parents to light The Cigarette, and they don’t, and I don’t remember which one it’s in, so I can’t set them up for it, and then it’s late and I go to bed.

And I’m awakened at one in the morning by a terrible BANG. And then the sound of my name being shouted at the top of a parent’s lungs…

Did you know that those things peel back and can make your face covered in lit cigarette end? They can. They did. Don’t do it . Bad joke. Bad pamie.

Well, okay, it was funny. But in a “Look how high Dad can jump sort of way.” They only let me get away with it three times, and then they took my cigarette bangers away. sniff.

My first cigarette was when I was fifteen years old. My friend had been smoking Marlboro Reds for, like, three years and offered me a cigarette. I thought, “he’s cute,” and I gladly accepted. I fell on my head from the dizziness that occurred. He laughed, and kept getting me to try another drag.

I never coughed. Not once. Years of second hand smoke made smoking second nature, like when I went from roller skates to ice skates without falling on my butt once. My parents had made it easier for me to smoke.

But I didn’t start smoking until college. You see, it wasn’t until I got older that I realized you get more things and meet more people if you smoke. (here’s where Mr. Wise Ass says: “Yeah! You get lung cancer, and you meet lots of doctors!” Isn’t he cute?) What I mean is, you are allowed EXTRA BREAKS! Isn’t that absurd? You are allowed to go outside, have a longer break, leave in the middle of class, take time out from a meeting, all because you smoke and they think you’ll turn into a monster if they don’t let you go out.I work in what is basically a cave. I don’t know what the weather is like all day long unless I get to go outside to smoke. And if you are not a smoker… LIE. Tell them you smoke so you can see the outdoors five times a day. Because staring at two computer screens while sitting under these lights all day has got to be bad for my brain. And my eyes. And my thighs. I need to get out every once in a while. It helps the social skills.

Smokers are the most friendliest people I’ve ever met. You’ll never go outside for a smoke alone and not have a conversation with the stranger next to you. And if they don’t talk to you, you know that they probably aren’t good people anyway, because smokers make this immediate bond. “We’re outcasts.” We wear our lighters like badges, signifying that we are some of the remaining few, the careless, talkative bunch that have beaten the system, and are allowed an extra ten minutes on breaks to “finish your smoke.”

My father is a survivor of lung cancer. He didn’t stop smoking. He’s not a quitter, dammit. But seriously, my entire family smokes and my sister has been smoking since she was twelve. How do you not smoke when your entire family (stress) wants you to go outside with them (stressstress) to talk (stressstressstress) while they all have a cigarette?

I like smoking. I wish I didn’t. I learned that I’m not one of those people addicted to nicotine. I can go for a time without a cigarette, and in fact, at work if I didn’t have people inviting me outside with them, quite often I forget to go have one. I’ve quit for weeks at a time and I never get crabby or grumpy. I just get a little lonely. I miss the conversations outside. I miss gesturing with a cigarette. I miss blowing smoke rings when I’m bored. I miss the taste of a cigarette with a great cup of coffee and a brilliant book. And that’s what gets me thinking, “I like doing this, still, and I know one day I won’t,” as I have given up on many fads I’ve had (one day I’ll buy new Tamagotchi batteries, but I never remember… and if you think that’s not addictive, sister, you have no idea) So I start smoking again, and one day, when I’m sick of that smell on my hair, or I’m sick of going to the Circle K, or I’m tired of looking for a lighter, I’ll quit.

Maybe I’ll wait until I stop performing in bars. That’s a pretty big part of it. That and you can smoke in rehearsal. Oh, and I drink in bars with my friends and they smoke. Oh, and…one day I’ll quit. If I move to California, all my favorite places to smoke will be taken away, so I may not have a choice. But here in Austin, there’s no real pressure to quit. I know I will, I just don’t want it to be today. I know myself enough to know that I can do anything I put my mind to, really put my mind to and one day, smoking will be something I just want to give up.

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