Lent: Winners Never Quit

I could have run a country mile, and still been no further from the edge.

Day 21.


My best friend is a real asshole. He used to be a pack-a-day smoker. I can’t recall how many cigarettes he bummed from me over the years. For more than 10 years, we were brothers in arms.

Then one year he decided to give it up for lent.

Now, let me take a moment to point out that my pal is only religious during Christmas, Lent and Easter. He’s your average Occasional-Catholic.

What I’m saying is, he didn’t give up smoking because Jesus spent 40 days in the desert.

He did it to piss me off. He just…stopped. Bam. Non-smoker, just like that.

He quit specifically to show me how easily he could quit.

And he’s not the only one.

Another close friend decided to quit, and just like my friend the Occasional-Catholic, he just…stopped.

This particular son of a bitch is the friend that got me smoking in the first place, which is ironic on numerous levels, the least of which is the fact that his Mom believed that I was the bad influence in that friendship.

One day he just decided that he didn’t feel like smoking anymore, and he was done. Just like that.

They both just…stopped. No harm, no foul, no pain, no suffering…no babies crawling across their ceilings–no nightmares or cold sweats. No withdrawals—no crying themselves to sleep. Just pink lungs and a new lease on life.


On day 2, I didn’t want to get out of bed.
By day 5, I had been reduced to a nervous wreck. It felt like I was eternally at the top of a roller coaster, just before the big drop. It felt like life was always hiding around the corner waiting to jump out and yell, “boo.”

I could have run a country mile, and still been no further from the edge.

By day 10, I could have foreclosed on an orphanage without feeling bad. I was fast becoming a Disney-esque villain.

Day 12 saw me easily agitated by just about everything. My fuse was short. My thoughts went back to killing a care bear.

By the time I made it to day 15, I was just angry.

About everything.

The weather, my career, reality TV shows, Hillary Clinton’s pant-suits…you name it, it pissed me off.

Now it’s day 21. I feel like my spirit and soul have been crushed.

Like a child who’s just learned that Santa ain’t real.


I know I want a cigarette, I know I hate the rest of the world, but I simply don’t have the energy.

All I can do is sigh quietly, and remember the good times we shared.

Quitting would be so much easier if I didn’t have to drive or work.


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