Day Twenty

Days Without a Cigarette: 19. 58333
Days Without Nicotine: 0
Dollars Saved: $29.02
Time Saved: 27 hours, 44 minutes

Since the day I quit, I’ve lived in terror of finding cigarettes.

And it started pretty much right away. On my first morning as a nonsmoker I was heading out to the dentist’s office when I realized that the cigarette pictured on the front page of the blog, the one I cracked in half and photographed the day before, was still in the trash can in my office. Before I left, I went upstairs, emptied the trash, and took it out to the side of the road. Lucinda and I had intentionally set a quit date that corresponded with trash pick up, so by the time I got back from the dentist, that cigarette, along with all the ashtrays and shit that we threw away, were on their way to a landfill.

But I was a smoker for thirty fucking years. What are the odds that I found every stray cigarette before we quit? I’m sure that somewhere in some pocket of some jacket, there’s a half full pack of cigarettes that I’m doomed to come across. In fact, I started thinking there might have been one in my backpack, so for a solid four days or so after I quit I refused to look into it.

I still haven’t had to experience that yet, but as of yesterday afternoon, Lucinda has – and in the worst possible way. The story starts with the kittens pissing in the closet. Now, I’m sure your closets are neat, tidy affairs where everything stays in its proper place and nothing accumulates on the floor. But mine’s not like that. I mean, there are a few things neatly boxed up and stuff, you just have to dig through piles of clothes and shit to find them. Mostly, at the moment, all the summer clothes my wife just tossed in there with the plans of boxing up sometime in the near future.

So the kittens get in there. They figure “alright, they don’t seem to mind when we piss in those other two closets, we might as well try this one.” So they piss all over my wife’s summer clothes, and everything else that’s accumulated in the closet over the year and a half we’ve been in this house.

Now, I’m upstairs working when she makes this discovery, so she doesn’t bother me with it. She just slaps on some rubber gloves and sets about seeing what she can salvage. And it’s not as much as you’d hope. My hiking boots and my dress shoes were safe. Boxes got pissed on, shoes stayed dry. A whole bag of shitty T-shirts from my old job that I kept because someday I might take up painting or something were fine. But a ton of shit wasn’t. Most of it was Lucinda’s. Including a couple of her favorite handbags. And she’s every bit as pissed off as the purses are pissed on.

And it’s right around the time she’s finding the second of these urine soaked handbags that she also comes across a pack of Camels with six cigarettes still inside. The kittens managed to piss on almost everything, but somehow they managed to miss this goddamn pack.

Now, as she tells it, her reaction was instantaneous. She reacted as though there was a ninja hiding in that pile of pissed of soiled tank tops. She crumbled it in her piss-stained gloves and took it straight to the trashcan, and then, upon realizing that we have rolling papers in the house, she poured a cup of water over them. By her recollection, all of this happened in something like ten seconds, but still, I feel like it rivals Frodo’s journey in terms of stamina and will power. It would be bad enough to find half a dozen smokes when I was in a good mood. But in a moment like that? I’m not sure I could’ve made it through that.

But she did. She’s still on top of her game and I gotta be honest, I can’t imagine she’s gonna face a much tougher test than that. I sure as hell hope I won’t.

Published by Noah Lugeons

Noah Lugeons co-hosts a bunch of podcasts: The Scathing Atheist, God Awful Movies, The Skepticrat, and Citation Needed

3 thoughts on “Day Twenty

  1. I had a similar test when I quit. I have a few different purses I use and when I switch from one to the other, I take out what I need from one and put it in the other. But if I don’t need everything that’s in one, I’d just leave it in there. So about two weeks or so after I’d quit, I was switching from my regular black purse to a tan one and in that bag, I found *HALF A PACK* of Marlboro 100s. Unlike Lucinda, I didn’t destroy them. Instead, I put them in a different purse, one I rarely used, and I put that bag under the pile of other bags, and I reasoned: I don’t want them now, and I’m doing good at this quitting thing *now,* but I might change my mind and damn, these things are expensive, so I’ll keep them just in case…

    I don’t know why it helped me, but it did: I knew that if I really, really needed them, I could have them. When I was at a gas station or a grocery store and I thought about buying a pack, I’d remember that I already had half a pack at home, so if I really wanted to smoke, it was there… It was out of sight, but accessible if I really, really needed them….

    I left them there for two years before I really believed I’d genuinely quit for good, and decided it was “safe” to throw them out.


  2. That is a horrible, sorry that happened to Lucinda. Cats do have a habit of testing your limits. Did someone say having pets lowers your blood pressure? I’d like to see the data on that.

    Liked by 1 person

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