Monday, September 11, 2006

Dear Mr. Cigarette

Mr. Cigarette
c/o My Virtual Counselor
Quit Right!™ Nicotine Replacement Systems
15 Washington Blvd Suite 25A
Plattsmouth, NE 68048

Dear Mr. Cigarette,

I have to say right off the bat that I feel a little weird writing you, but my Quit Right!™ Virtual Counselor suggested I give it a shot, so, well, here goes nothing! I just figure I’ve been doing things my own way for a long time, and let’s be honest, it ain’t working out so good. It’s hard to believe, I know, I just really feel like I’m ready to start taking suggestions.

It’s been tough couple days Mr. Cigarette, I mean seriously, get a load of this. Let me tell you what really takes the cake. When I bought the Quit Right!™ System with complimentary E-Z Relaxation CD, my Daily Delivered Virtual Counselor suggested I pick a Quit Date. So I did, and I was totally cool with it, mentally girding myself for the prospect of life without you, and yeah, I was nervous but it was all good. So imagine my shock when THE DAY BEFORE, like THE LAST NIGHT I was copasetic to smoke, my friggen’ girlfriend up and dumped me! Can you even believe that? Apparently she’d been stewing over some bullshit from like three weeks earlier and didn’t even have the common courtesy to bring it up then, knowing full well the difficulties I was about to undertake vis-a-vis our separation (I mean yours and mine). Talk about insensitive, I mean, c’mon.

You wanna hear what happened, Mr. Cigarette? It’s totally stupid. She dumped me because I wouldn’t change my “Relationship Status” on—it’s this “social networking” website, a place to scam on chicks, yeah. Anyway, I wouldn’t change it to “Taken.” I’m all like, “Who cares what it says!” and she’s all quiet and hurt and moping. Don’t even give me that, Mr. Cigarette. It’s the principle man! Her assumption that a random act of html coding somehow imbues our relationship with meaning for one thing, totally pisses me off, and furthermore undermines my feelings by not only cheapening our relationship (placing it within a virtual paradigm), but somehow insinuates a lack of commitment on my part! It’s the principle man, the fucking principle.

Look Mr. Cigarette, I’m jumpy as a motherfucker, I’m going to use some of this insane energy to clean my bathroom. Take a breather for a second. I’ll be back.

Bathroom clean, dishes done, laundry in the hamper. Right on!

Seriously though, Mr. Cigarette, answer me: How does one change a habitual nature? Is determinism even a relevant starting point, bound, as I am, by the Chain of Dependant Causation? It’s a bitch, right? It’s like desire’s everywhere man. Desire! There it is. Desire! Again. My mind and all my bodily urges and cravings pinging and grasping out towards this exterior source, and me so totally in it, of it, you know? Por ejemplo, I’m chewing this Nicotine Replacement Peppermint Sugarless right now. In my mind I’m like “Whoop-ti-do, it’s fucking gum,” and my buddy is all, “That’s cool, at least you’re getting your nicotine man,” and I’m like, “It’s fucking gum, dude!”

My needs are not met by gum. I’ve got no smoke in my throat, no burn in my nostrils; the yellow patch on my index finger is disappearing. There is nothing on the periphery. I see my fingers hit the keys as I’m writing you and my teeth are gnashing on this Peppermint Sugarless and the chemical swells are osmotically becoming in my mouth, yet still, even with this ineptly delivered buzz—more like a fleeting cessation of pain—my being is completely filled with the absence of you. That’s what I’m talking about, Mr. Cigarette. It blows man, it totally blows. This samsara gig is a wicked deal.

Sorry to get all metaphysical and shit Mr. Cigarette, it’s just Becky’s on my mind. You know how it is. Don’t be like that! She doesn’t hold a candle to you Mr. Cigarette. She and I dated, what? Six months? We’ve been together for over a decade you and me. Oh, it’s okay Mr. Cigarette, I understand. You’re confused, what with the emotional upheaval and all. “But Scotty,” you’re saying, “these are the times we are closest! I am Shoulder, I am Shoulder for you!” I hear you Mr. Cigarette, I really do. It’s just that I really feel like I’m ready for a healthy adult relationship. To be honest, I want to be with someone who treats me like I want to be treated. It’s the Golden Rule, right? Look Mr. Cigarette, you’ve been a part of my life for a long time, but that’s over now. There. I’ve said it.

Stop it, Mr. Cigarette. There’s no need to be like that. Sure we had love. I don’t deny it. But what is love really? It’s nothing, man. Nothing. Don’t scoff. Hear me out. Is the love you and I presume to share part of my eternal self? How could I possibly be aware of my emotional state regarding you if it were an integral part of me? You see what I’m saying, Mr. Cigarette? Attachment separates in empty space. By the nature of my awareness, my feelings are negated. I deny my sense data. I deny my emotional fluctuations. Nothing is real here, Mr. Cigarette. None of it. I’m sorry.



Erik Wennermark started smoking again after a year off. His recent move to Tuscaloosa, Alabama is fully to blame.

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