At Midnight, It’s Never Too Soon

He’s patient, but yesterday, he smoked what he says was his last cigarette. He smoked this last cigarette after he bought a pack of gum he planned to chew with extreme prejudice. I tell him, “Dahhhhhhlink, it will be your last cigarette if it is, but if it isn’t you’ll quit when you’re ready.” He’s sure. He’s ready. He won’t hear of it any other way!

Well, okay. While I enjoy the company of a minty-fresh man as much as the next perfumed dame, I’m not applying pressure. He’ll quit when cigarettes taste nasty, feel like an obligation and become a stupid expense – or he’ll buy another pack. In my opinion, he’s not addicted to cigarettes in the first place. Nope. He might smoke three or four a day, and not on any schedule. It’s not a habit. This event’s more like the day an office-holding moron breaks out the dictionary and discovers the pronunciation key. “You mean it’s noo klee r? I hope nobody heard me,” sez our prize-winning twit. For a little while after this satori, the speaker will stumble over the practiced noo ku ler until noo klee r feels natural. And so it can be with quitting for people who are not really addicted. One day, as I did, the not-actually-addicted smoker might simply not light another one. Siobhan, for instance, only smokes when she’s wearing her blue suede shoes to taunt Elvis impersonators. A girl’s got to have her standards.

For actual nicotine addicts, I have no advice. Even I know that a two-pack-a-day habit represents a personal boogie man, boogie man, and I should zip it.

He’s patient with my tantrums, exhaustion, my dumb soap operas and echolalia. He’s pleasant first thing in the morning and pleasant last thing at night. In between, this week, I might try this Be Nice thing people talk so much about.

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