Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yesterday I bought a pack of cigarettes. Since I had filled in my mail-in ballot while I was still seventeen, this was the first really grown-up thing I had done since my eighteenth birthday.

Like most rites of passage it was easier than I had imagined. I specified which brand, let the man at the counter inspect my ID, and declined his offer of matches. Nobody looked surprised and I walked home, feeling a little older.
The remorse that came afterwards made me feel older still.

It was not my money and not my lungs, but somebody paid and somebody will smoke them, someone I am fond of, and I am using him and his addiction to fuel my own rebellion. I am in no position to make him quit but I shouldn't be an enabler. He could quit now if nobody gave him cigarettes, but somebody will always give him cigarettes because he has such a beautiful smile.

I could say that I did it for love but I don't think I love him.

08:16:00 PM


Anonymous said...

I wish I weren't old enough to buy cigarettes, it'd make quitting a lot easier.

Anonymous said...

You can't make him quit, and refusing to buy him cigarettes won't change anything, but you can let him know that you wish he would take better care of himself. Sometimes knowing that someone else cares is enough to push a smoker in the direction of quitting.

OP said...

That's sort of what I'm hoping for. I don't know him too well so I don't know how much of an effect I can have but I'm working on it.

Anonymous said...

As a smoker, I can say that having people tell you how concerned they are doesn't push them away from smoking, it just pushes them away from you.