Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Time Off For Good Behavior?

I am, by preference and aesthetic, kind of an unhealthy person. I like junky food, and there's something pleasurable about eating it beyond just the tastiness of all those trans-fats or whatever the hell they're called these days. It's something about swimming against the tide of self-preservation, of sound common sense.

I am thinking about this because I am at a rotten stage of not smoking. I have not had a cigarette in a little over three months. I have developed a fondness for pipe tobacco cigars, which is indisputably unhealthy, but probably less unhealthy than smoking a pack a day. But the stage I am at is the stage where I think, "What the hell's the point of all this?"

I couldn't walk up that one hill that one day. But I was probably sick or something. On another day I could have walked up there just fine. And god knows I could get hit by a car or something tomorrow, and then what would be the good of not having smoked? Here we are, stranded in this incredibly imperfect world; why am I denying myself something I enjoy, when pleasures are so few and far between as is?

This is all so much noise. I do not really want to start smoking again; I don't really want to fall off the wagon. There are nice things about not smoking; there is something nice about not having my body chemistry go haywire every hour if I don't top it off with nicotine.

I just hate that moment when you forget why you're doing something, and the only justification you can offer yourself for why you're doing it is that it is, in some at that moment entirely abstract way, the right thing to do. Not the interesting thing to do, not the amusing thing to do, not the cool or authentic or experimental or tawdry thing to do. No, all you can say to yourself is that it is the way forward, and therefore you are taking it.

Or at least, that's the way it looks right now. Noko Marie compared the inner self to a pet; right now I am the parent screaming at the child in the grocery store "Because I said so," having forgotten, momentarily, why I said so in the first place, anxious for the noise to stop.

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