06 October 2007

Inspiratory System: Ceci n'est pas un "relapse"

Inspire, v.

1. trans. To breathe or blow upon or into. Obs. or arch


I. 1. a. The animating or vital principle in man (and animals); that which gives life to the physical organism, in contrast to its purely material elements; the breath of life.

[Oxford English Dictionary]

I can breathe a little easier now that I'm over one month quit. I am respirited. But I cheated. A lapse. At the party. Another. RE: Lapses - does a second lapse constitute a relapse?

Why, really, do we smoke? Why did you smoke? Why do they? Why don't you? Seriously.

I think, initially, i wanted to summon some minor demons. Sex up the image by cultivating some edges. Some mystique - the smoke-haze clouds vision - "is that a bona fide rocknroll rebel over there or just that kid from Honors English class? It's hard to tell." On his utilty belt, Batman had smoke capsules that, when, broken on the ground, would allow for an easy exit. They made him hard to locate. I wanted to be hard to locate. You know, like existentially.

And of course it's an accessory [to commit protracted suicide?]. Accoutrement. A weapon with which to lighten the piling weight of quotidiana. Gravity gets me down. Smoke is light. Levity. It goes into me, out, and up. And it's A light. If I'm mostly water, it makes me part fire.

"I'm not myself since I stopped smoking." -- Woody Allen, "Annie Hall"

"... the painful pleasure that arises from some intimation of eternity; the taste of infinity in a cigarette resides precisely in the 'bad' taste the smoker quickly learns to love. Being sublime, cigarettes, in principle, resist all arguments directed against them from the perspective of health and utility. " -- Richard Klein, from "Cigarettes are Sublime"

"The believing we do something when we do nothing is the first illusion of tobacco." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?" ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

"Sucks to your ass-mar!" Ralph to Piggy, "Lord of the Flies"


Adam said...

Well when I'm smoking
Put my worries on a shelf
Don't think about nothin'
Try not to see myself.

Well in this blues I'm singin'
There's a lesson to be learned
Don't go around smokin'
Unless you want to get burned.

- Nick Drake

Adam said...

Let us not forget Bakhtin, that baggy monster--the most inveterate smoker of us all.

Madhurima said...


kris said...

The next two beats in Annie Hall:

Woody: I'm not myself since I stopped smoking.
Date: Oh, when did you stop smoking?
Woody: Sixteen years ago.

His date doesn't get the joke, and that's a whole funny thing in itself (and, at that part of the movie, the point of it). But the joke always stuck with me (particularly when I quit smoking myself).

I think for smokers and ex-smokers and smokers trying to be ex-smokers, that Woody Allen bit resonates pretty loud and, four years later, I may still not be quite myself.

C said...

Enter Cat whose life can be a series of relapses. Alternating tip-toe and stomp applies to any (all) of the following: Smoking, Drinking, Eating, Vanity, Loathing, Fucking, Breaking? Are these the things I relapse from?

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