Thursday, June 12, 2008
Five years ago yesterday, I gave up smoking. I have not smoked since and although I still like the smell of tobacco, I haven't been tempted. I am often a smug, self-righteous bastard when it comes to smoking, and with good reason: I had seen the person I love more than anything else in the world laying for ten days with tubes sticking out of her, barely alive, her recently excised intestines laying festering in a bucket in a path lab. After the experience of being told the news that she'd nearly died but that she'd had to undergo drastic surgery to stay alive, I'd had to break the self-same news to her parents, her children and her friends, all of whom I barely knew. It is an experience I've never forgotten. 13 years previously I'd killed someone in a road accident and never felt a thing except anger that the drunk never gave me chance to avoid him when he walked out in front of my car; now I was confronted by emotions I'd never expected to feel for years. Smoking is the one thing that arouses me to near apoplexy I'm afraid. It's a vile, foul habit and it steals lives, not only of the victims of its effects, but of everyone connected. Our lives since have been a series of stop-start kangaroo hops and an increasing number of concessions made in order to maintain some kind of order.