october to infinity seems like a horrible time to be cowering in the dank doorway of chef yee's sucking down a camel light while my friends enjoy hot toddies and bask in the warm glow of the pull tab vendor at the pioneer. i've seen st. elmo's fire. no one wants to watch fun from outside the window.
before i'd made this crucial decision, i started toward the ghetto spur, where i seem to have the same inane conversation every day:
me: camel lights.
ghetto spur guy: do you want the buy two get one free deal?
ghetto spur guy: i suppose you're quitting after this pack, right?
me: you never know.
ghetto spur: you aren't quitting. ...
[and the next time i see him he always gives me a smug grin. i could punch that freakish doomsday seer]
instead i skipped the gas station and continued on with my smokeless existance, telling myself that as long as i stayed calm and relaxed all day it would be easy. i'd use the nervous energy i typically expell in plumes above my head, and harness it for good: chomping gum, chipping the polish off my fingernails, yanking the life support on the grey hairs that have set up residence on my part line.
for 144 minutes i was fine. then, as soon as jcrew got into my car she asked for a cigarette.
"i quit," i told her.
"you WHAT?! you QUIT?! you DON'T HAVE ANY CIGARETTES?!" she screeched.
i shook my head. this would be exactly the kind of high-stress that ends with me sticking a wad of trident under the nearest table and digging for my cougar lighter. jcrew has all day to rally intensity and develop opinions on the world. me, i'm still trying to adjust to daylight and flicking gunk out of the corner of my eyes.
"i have some at my apartment," the devil said. "we can smoke when we get there."
great. marlboro ultra lights. the equivilent of ordering a keg of o'douls.
"i mean, i was still kicking it around," i said. "i suppose i could stop at the ghetto spur."
"DO IT! FAST!" she said.
we took a six-minute route and turned it into a four minute venture.
the naysaying clerk was standing outside on a break. he gave me a knowing look. i bought a pack of camel lights, walked back past him:
"bet you're going to quit after that," he said.
"i quit for 144 minutes today," i said.
then the devil with a kate spade bag came screeching along.