39. Personal Story

I am somebody who recently quit smoking; for the past year and a half I have been an “on & off” smoker who would quit for a few months and at the moments notice, pick the habit back up again. Before this phase though, I was a full time chimney.
I know that when it comes to “emotional” things, people choose smoking because somebody they knew close to them had started smoking. Whether it be friends or family, somebody around you started doing it before you could even hold one in your hand.

The person who really got me started was my late friend Chris; he was the quintessential rock & roll guy who could play any and EVERY instrument imaginable, his preferred weapons were the bass and the piano. He dreamed of just getting high all day and tuning pianos for a living. Too bad the only thing that stood in his way was a case of terminal depression. Chris committed suicide my junior year of highschool; nobody saw it coming, but then after his departure things started to make sense.
I am not saying drugs are bad at all, do them while you can, they can be fun. Do not do them if you can’t handle them and do not do them if you have a self-destructive personality…which is something Chris had. He did behave like a 40-year-old rockstar and he definitely had that reckless attitude to him; he would consume anything and everything toxic and act as if he were invincible. One of his habits included smoking. The day I started smoking was the day he handed me a cigarette.
I remember our conversation after school clear as day.

“Well what do you do between photoshoots?” he asked me as we walked through the woods behind our school, he and I were both avoiding detention.
I told him that I normally just sit there and wait, he lightly laughed and responded “but you don’t puff your life away with a cigarette and then pout into the camera? I thought all models were supposed to do that, maybe I have been wrong…”
I definitely had smoked cigarettes before but I hadn’t really found a brand that suited me, so I wasn’t really wrapped up in the whole models-who-smoke cliche. I explained this to Chris, and he pulled his pack of cigarettes out for me and handed me a lovely and slender Marlboro Red.
“Here you go,” he said, “see if you like this blend.”
Surprisingly I did, I turned to him and smiled. As he moved a few tree branches from our path he looked at me and stated,
“Well then, I guess red is your color.”

After Chris’s passing I smoked Reds for a year until I started noticing the horrible throat infections I was getting. I was dumb and instead of quitting (oh the joys of being young) I simply switched over to a lighter blend, leaving me with Marlboro Lights.
I now have rid myself of the addiction, but my boring anecdote proves that people don’t just “start” smoking, if it weren’t for that personal experience that I had with Chris that one delinquent afternoon, I would not have lead the tobacco life like I did. I am glad that I am at the point where cancer sticks definitely turn me off, but it is definitely noticeable when I go through other people’s blogs. I can tell the smokers from the non-smokers instantly; for those of us who used to smoke regularly or still do, there is definitely an emotional attachment to that little cylinder. While those who have never really got into smoking cigarettes, view it as if it were another product like Coca-Cola or Gucci. I am not saying those posts are bad, in fact a lot of them are absolutely excellent, it is just that they lack the personal connection. The feeling you get when you put on your favorite perfume/cologne, listen to your favorite band, watch your favorite movie, read your favorite book, hang out with your friends, or do an activity you like. For smoking a cigarette is one of their favorite activities, and I feel like that element within the product has been neglected.

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One thought on “39. Personal Story

  1. I’ll admit, I’ve only smoked one cigarette in my life, and “smoked” is giving myself too much credit (for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to inhale the smoke). I’ve never really understood the appeal of cigarettes, and I’ve never done the research to see why people start smoking cigarettes.

    Your story is a really interesting one. Do you think your emotional connection to the experience is the norm, or does it become more of a dependence think the longer you go? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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