Watching the Other Side

by Peggy McFarland

Did you ever watch smokers? Sure, they are the new lepers of society, but there is a camaraderie among smokers I envy. They share a light, a conversation, and a laugh while they stand in sub-zero temperatures - sure, slaves to their habit, but also enjoying a human connection which all the booze in the world served at oaken bars with flickering candlelight and sparkling bottles will never provide. Smokers meekly take their lighters and packs outside, accepting the outcast position they’re been bullied into because there is a sense of guilt; smokers know they should quit the habit, but how does one give up a constant friend - the one that was there through every meaningful moment of life, ready to celebrate or commiserate, always faithful and available? I watch smokers, and I envy them, but I stay on my side of the pungent cloud; I surrendered my membership to that club years ago. But... if I knew the world would end tomorrow, I would drive to the corner store today and reacquaint myself with my old habit, and maybe share a light, a memory - hell, maybe even a laugh - with a new friend.


Peggy McFarland, whose full catalog is here, celebrated eight years of smoke free living on January 20th. (Start her thread of past 6S posts with Midnight Snack, if you want to see the musings of a smoke-free mind.)


Leatherdykeuk said...

I've blogged about the very same. I only quit a few months ago but I'm the only non smoker in the house now. The others share a comraderie and exclude me from their circle and I live in a self-imposed isolation of smoke-free life.

Madam Z said...

I never thought that *I*, one of the most zealous anti-smoking campaigners you will ever meet, would ever envy those "new lepers of society." But I do now, after reading this beautiful Six.

Eryn said...

FINALLY someone who understand what it feels like to be over on this side. I quit smoking for my sake, but I stay completely smoke free for my fiance's. I could be a casual smoker, the one who only indulges when she drinks, or someone offers, but I'm not. Sitting at a bar that he drags me to, watching all others around light one up makes my fingers itch to just hold one. Working at a college campus where it seems like 9 out of 10 people smoke makes me want to reach out and bum one. Driving down the interstate and watching what seems like a cracked window with a cigarette hanging out of every car that passes--addiction is a horrible thing.

Rico Sihotang said...

Thanx for information :)