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Smokin’ Hot

Now, this might not be such big a deal for most people, so that I am inclined to just peg this under personal victory.  I have finally kicked the habit of smoking. That is right, after so many years of trying to kick it, not to mention, convincing myself of its ill effects, I have at last won.

(Though there is still a part of me that says the battle is not yet won, I just ignore it and try to imagine ahead, like what things might be like a year after. In all, I guess that’s just the way it is with things related to quitting a habit.)

I have actually tried so many times before, starting in the 80s. Then, with each unsuccessful attempt and the standard “Oh well” statement, I always told myself that the day would come when I finally would be quitting for good. What a better time than during a world in lockdown?

During those 80s, quitting had proven to be quite difficult. In the company where I worked, a majority of us smoked like chimneys, and my immediate superior had a regular supply of imported tobacco available for few of us. This had likewise been the setup during my stay in Manila a decade earlier, when my now-departed sis who worked as a flight attendant would occasionally give me a ream after each flight abroad.

Then, when a new line of work involved staying out in the field and the outdoors, my pack of marlboros had been a warm companion all throughout, until the entry of Covid.

In total, my smokin life approximately started in my first year of high school, with two fil-am classmates, as we tuned in to their older brother’s Dylan vinyls. The habit had then graduated and boomed during the college years, when we realized that once there, you were practically left on your own (compared to the strict high school years). The habit had rambled on, with a ton of smoking blues friends, until its last breath, the quarantine and lockdown just three months ago.

In reflection, my smoking habit had been a senior like myself. It practically outlived The Beatles, the Stones, John Denver, plus more than four decades of musical genres and styles. For that, one could honestly say that, had it been an actual person, it must have seen and witnessed quite a trip. However, that is not something one could be proud of, even though I hear a lot of kudos like, “Well done!” and “It’s about time!”. In truth and deep inside, I am just lucky to have left it when I did, is all. So, here’s saying I’m leaving them smokin years behind. If by circumstance, others wish to follow,  I’m not saying you hurry. Go your own way, or follow your road, whichever soundtrack you choose.

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