I am chilling in a post burnt-out stage of euphoria. Underneath the symbolic twisting appendages of the sullen willow tree outside swings grown up memories. A dozen cumulus clouds of bubbling guilt pass overhead, casting shadows on the early morning shoppers perusing the wares through double panes. One man pauses to kick a can of soda off of the curb into a sewer. I feel for the lonely metallic cylinder, destined for a seemingly endless run through the dark maze of tunnels connecting numerous back alleys. At least my back no longer feels the strain of blue collared pay cheques. A mug of coffee cools on my bedside table. Another drink for my always thirsty sink. Sitting up causes my eyes to droop, and a conglomerate overriding of nerves leaves me feeling light headed. The rush soon recedes back into my chest, fading quickly. I fumble for the empty lighter beside me, optimistic that someone may have filled it when I wasn't paying attention. Of course, I am proved wrong once again. My clock desperately flashes three-thirty-two. Power must not be guaranteed to everyone. I wonder about the correct time, yet understand it is only relative. As I fumble with a cigarette, I notice that the scaly silver substance from last nights selection of losing scratch tickets still appears as residue on the tips of my fingers. I've got to get myself together. Today the glass will be half full... at least thatâ€™s what I'm told by the vibrant rays of light creeping slowly across my carpet. My shoes are nowhere to be found. I can't even remember bringing them home with me last night. To tell you the truth, I haven't the faintest idea as to how I made it here myself. It brings a smile to my face knowing that I awoke in a nice warm bed, instead of being shaken awake by the men in blue, and falling off the bench to be sprawled across the concrete for the pigeon lady to laugh at. I would rather consume the chips of peeled paint off the bench, then to have to endure that constant cooing. I notice that there is a note underneath my door. Hopefully a positive message is contained amongst the scribble. From this distance, all I can tell is that someone spent very little time writing it. One enormous hand tracing chicken scratch onto a discarded parchment. Perhaps I should pick it up and read it, or maybe burn it... I do not know. Another head rush and once again I am somewhere between lost and found. I find that I have no desire to learn the lies written on the small scrap of white paper, but at the same time I am drawn to it. If I am indifferent towards it, I might miss out on something fantastic. If I succumb to its power, it may use me as a needle uses an addict. Decisions can kill greatness if they are made without thought. Now what did I do with those matches? I quickly scan the room to find them looking up at me from a rumpled heap of clothes that are more of a fire hazard than a fashion trend. Stretch... Focus... Lift... Stand... Lean over... Pick up... Unfold... Rip... Strike... Flame... I look again at the note. It beckons me to come out and play. A brief carpet born inferno. I shake it off, and light the cigarette that amazingly found its way behind my left ear, instead of between my sheets. Sometimes I surprise myself. Unfortunately, now is not one of those days. I should have quit this nasty habit years ago. I should never have started in the first place. A fire at one end, a sucker at the other. But it feels so good, and the shaking in my hands has stopped. I wonder how long before it begins again.
This is a story I began a few years ago. It is still unfinished, but I felt the need to post the beginning as It is exactly how I used to feel, with the smoking, and the partying I used to do. Today, I wrote a new story, a summary of my life as a smoker. I call it: â€œThe Addiction Papersâ€
It is in the next post.