The thing the tobacco industry doesn’t want you to know about quitting is how fun it is. Like, crazy insane bat-shit fun. Totally bananas out-of-control fun! Quitting smoking is, like, the most fun thing I’ve ever done!
You are probably thinking one of two reasonable thoughts. One: "Wow, that seems to fly in the face of all evidence I've ever heard including that which I have lived firsthand when my ex-boyfriend quit and drove his Camaro into a phone booth because he thought it was giving him the finger." Two: "Should I start smoking so that I can quit and experience such bliss as I've never gleaned from merely existing?" I will work backward in answering these rhetorical tricksterisms, and say that to some extent, my 20 years of smoking pale in comparison to the undiluted thrill of Quitting Cold Turkey All Of A Sudden A Few Weeks Ago.
Why did I decide that I wanted to pay the entrance fee for this excruciating joyride? Allow me to reach into my metaphor bag and pull out a rabbit shaped like the act of making art: I was inspired. The very first thought that occurred to me on the morning of March 2, 2015 was, "Huh. I guess I'll quit smoking today." The very second thought was, "Oh, shit."
This Sunday, March 29, 2015 AD, during Open Space's Sixth Annual Publications and Multiples Fair at the Baltimore Design School, I will be delivering a frantic presentation on the topic of Just Doing It! And I've decided to discuss the parallels between Keeping Motivated in Your Art Practice and Quitting Smoking (Really). At that time I will have 27 days smoke-free, qualifying me as a Future Expert.
Presently, however, I'd like to discuss some of the more enjoyable aspects of abdicating one's spot outside, under an insufficient awning, in the rain or snow or both, fingers freezing, for periods of 10 to 15 minutes. Are you ready to experience the gratification and fulfillment that comes with realizing you contain multitudes?
For the first one to two weeks, possibly longer, you will feel you are being birthed into the world again. Relish the agony of bright lights, erratic sleep, confusing bowel movements, the sensation of being covered head to toe with translucent slime. Crying jags alight, a cloud of mangy seagulls swirling and shrieking in the strip mall parking lot of your mind. This is the place where you used to be able to park your butts. Nowadays the seagulls run the show. Be the seagull. Stare blankly into the distance with your yellow eyes, flinch easily, and allow yourself to drift aimlessly on a diet of garbage and screaming.