I smoked. Okay, I tried to smoke. I tried to smoke so much that I actually bought a whole pack of cigarettes with my allowance once. I was 14. All my friends were doing it so why not? I wasn’t one to pass on a good peer pressure moment. I walked all the way (a mile) to the neighborhood deli to purchase this pack of cigarettes. In the day before I.D. was required. I was the shit.
My brothers made this really crappy fort in the back yard. It was made of wood scraps found in our basement and was about the size of a latrine except not as nice. The parents thought their offspring were being creative and imaginative. In actuality, this was the place to go to release our “cool.” Our little fort of crap made from scraps where I would start to “smoke” my first and last pack of Marlboros.
At first, I didn’t inhale. I know it conjures up images of our 42nd president (don’t be impressed, I had to look that up). But I am not lying. This went on for a good week. Until I inhaled. What came next was one 70 pound teenage girl bent over a curb outside of the Easy Glider Roller Rink. As green in the face as what was coming out of her mouth. With the spins to match. Yes, that girl was Yours Truly. That was the end of my love affair with cigarettes. My parents found out about my little stint with the smoking stick. A neighbor ratted me out. But I got the last laugh because I quit anyway.
Since my experience, I have always wondered why people bother smoking. Surely, I’m not the only one who reacted so negatively. I’ve asked and the answer is always “you get used to it.” Yes, and I suppose you could get used to having someone hit you in the stomach repeatedly with a club, but why do it? I have to say I am incredibly grateful for that night at the curb, Mr. Vomit. My lungs thank you too. And my face. My heart. My teeth. Get the picture? Just Say No. I didn’t.