Smoking will be the death of me. In more senses than one. 

I’m doing well on the diet. Yes, I’m allowing cheat days to spill over from Saturday to Sunday, but I’ve adjusted and am a lot less likely to cheat than I would have been in the past. 

Exercise is going phenomenally well. 

Smoking is not. 

It’s better than it was. I have only bought one box this week. And I’m only having four, or maybe five fags a day. But they’re driving me nuts. I’m running low on funds at the moment (temporarily) and I decided I would feed my little nicotine beast by bumming cigarettes off strangers. 

This is humbling, frustrating and incredibly time-consuming. When I was an undergraduate, back at the dawn of this century, it was easy. You walked out of the library and there would be a row of smokers sitting on a wall. In the unlikely event that you didn’t know any of them, one of them would be bound to give you a cigarette anyway. At the time, you could still buy a 10 box for about £3. 

How life has changed. Now I come onto campus and smokers are few and far between. You can no longer buy a ten-box of cigarettes and a 20-box costs €8.50. At least. 

With the onset of the recession, the price-rises on cigarettes and the expansion of health-consciousness, smoking is a dying art. 

Smokers are a lot less brazen nowadays. They know that standing on the side of the street, openly smoking is likely to attract those who can’t afford a cigarette. I know that I’m used to being asked for fags by passersby anytime I stand gormlessly puffing in public.

Now, smokers never look relaxed. The majority of people I spotted smoking were talking on the phone, or walking briskly down the street. Their eyes were cast down and they cupped their lighted cigarettes in the palms of their hands. Their entire body language screams that they don’t want to be asked for a cigarette. I have discovered that it now takes up to 45 minutes, and a large chunk of dignity to bum a cigarette from a stranger.    

It’s much easier when people are drunk.

I’ll give up again soon.    

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One Response to Desperado

  1. Pingback: My inner SuBo | Project Connor

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