I totally plan to start smoking when I am 70
The only reason I don’t smoke now is because I am vain.
Vain and cheap.
Health? Not so much. Social censure? Eh.
You get used to not being one of the cool kids when you change schools every couple of years as a kid, when you aren’t asked to any high-school dances (except the ROTC ball by that guy in your chemistry class and Mike N., I am sorry I was not kinder to you and of course when I said I wasn’t really into military stuff – that was a total lie. My father was in the air force. We lived on an air force base. It was kind of my life), when you are the weird violin-playing, double-knit polyester elastic-waisted pants wearing, bike-riding to school (sorry I don’t know how to make that parallel), ugly-glasses wearing chubby smart 7th grader in a school that wasn’t on a military base and consisted of students who had known each other since kindergarten.
Where was I?
Oh right. The reasons I don’t smoke. I know it is very Not Done, but I am telling you, People Are Doing It. People you might not think are smokers? They smoke. Oh yes they do. I know them. I know them at work and I know them socially and you think they are not smokers but when they feel safe and know I will not criticize them for smoking, they live their truth.
And yeah. It doesn’t make financial sense to buy a product, set it on fire, and inhale the smoke as it burns. It’s not good for the lungs. It’s stinky.
But – when done properly, it seems to be divine.
I love the way fresh cigarette smoke smells outdoors. I will stop while I am out running if I catch a whiff of cigarette smoke. I will stop and inhale deeply because it smells good.
I want to smoke.
I do not want to destroy my health. So I don’t do it now.
And, even more than not wanting to destroy my health, I do not want to destroy my skin.
You know those awful mouth wrinkles heavy smokers get? Where it looks like their faces have been tanned? Not sitting in the sun tanned, but skin processed with chemicals to turn it into leather? That kind of tanning?
That is the main reason I do not smoke.
Because I do not want those wrinkles. I do not want that nasty, dry, dead skin.
But once I am 70? Maybe 80 – we’ll see how it goes – I will already have wrinkles.
And it won’t matter. Smoking a ciggie or two a day won’t matter. It won’t make my skin bad.
And I might also start heroin and gambling and hanging out with people who are Bad Influences. Because I intend to have fun.