Sunday Morning Coming Down

I wish I lived in a world where courtesy was dialed back to none, and a blunt, “Get away from me, you gross ashtray butt breath,” was acceptable. But it’s not, so I’m polite, bite my tongue, and hold my breath until the air freshens.

Back when smoking was allowed in buildings, at the start of my poker dealing days, players would sit next to me and smoke. They did so without care that maybe my pristine pink lungs wanted to stay that way. I recall how over time my button-down white shirt tinted brown, and how the phlegm I coughed up was a similar color.

My Mom smoked. And my grandpa too. My aunt. And my other aunt. I remember getting Christmas presents from one aunt, and how strong the off-gas of nicotine was from the wrapping paper. Almost to the point, I wished she’d left them at home. I said almost! I’m not a monster; they were presents, after all.

Same thing at the casino, I dealt with it (lol) because of the tips. And with people, I’ve sucked it up since because what choice do I have?

Thankfully I am rarely around smokers these days.

I did try a puff once when I was 18. The memory is hazy, but I remember two smoker friends (or should I say peddlers) right in my drunk face, pushing a cigarette in my lips, and lighting it. In the dark of night, I remember the orange glow from the inhale and the taste that engulfed my senses – face, body, soul – and stumbling away.

That’s the same night I passed out in the bed of a truck, and if for not someone seeing me back there, I’d have unknowingly hitchhiked to some place over an hour away.

I wish I’d had a similar conviction toward alcohol as I did toward cigarettes. The price is too great to justify when I reflect on the losses of time, relationships, and self-worth. Obviously, I can’t rewind time, nor do I want to, but remembering the costs is important.

It’s three hours until the clock strikes midnight, and I turn 41. It’ll be just another day, only with reminders from friends and family of what I mean to them. I’m going to do my best to soak it all in.

I hope you are well. Thanks for being here. Love, Jaclynn

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