My Nanny has always left a cigarette burning like a candle, down to its wick, whether she is smoking it or not.

My other Aunt has been told time and time again to quit smoking for her health, and it wasn’t until she ended up in the hospital for the fourteenth time when she finally decided to give it up.

My father started smoking when he was 15.  I used to hide his cigarettes when I was little, and he would get so pissed off at me.  He smoked three packs a day for 24 years, back when they were $13 a carton for Marlboro Reds, until one day he woke up and decided to quit cold turkey.

I tried my first cigarette at about 10 years old, snuck it out of an ashtray in my aunts van, while she ran into the gas station.  She smoked enough, there was no way she could tell if I did or if I didn’t, but I didn’t really begin smoking consistently until I was 14.

I’m 34 now, swore I would quit by the time I was 35 just like my dad, which is less than a month away.  I smoke a pack a day, on a good day, two packs if I’m drinking. I spend about $250-$300 a month on my flavor, Marlboro Lights.

My dad has always told me, “You will quit when you want to.  And that’s all there is to it.”

I don’t understand this concept.  It seems I have wanted to quit for so long.

A couple of years ago I went to jail for two weeks.  I figured this was how I was going to do it, finally stop smoking.  Not once did I crave a cigarette.  Locked up for fifteen days, I had no unbearable oral fixation, and my hands did not stay busy or feel empty.  I could finally breath without wheezing, live off of the two ounces of apple juice they gave you in the morning, and the cough, you know that smoker’s cough, it was gone, yet the first thing I did when I got out was go buy a pack of cigarettes and light one up.

It tasted like shit.  An instant headache spilled out of my pores while I immediately became light-headed and dizzy, not to mention it smelled worse than it tasted.

I finished that cigarette down to its filter, put it out, and lit up another.

Since then I may have quit for two or three days, but nothing more.  I tried the vape, candy, cold turkey.  I do want to quit.  I do not want to wait until I am in a hospital being told I have no choice.  I want to taste food the way food is supposed to be tasted.  I don’t want to spend my money on such nonsense, and yet I say all this all while smoking a fucking cigarette.

I know everything is mind over matter, and it’s like I know drugs are bad, so I don’t use them, why the fuck do I smoke?  How the fuck do I quit?  Will I quit?  And all this is, is me thinking out loud, but if I put it in the universe then maybe it will happen.

Just a thought… but ain’t that the beginning?