So, here’s the thing, I am a very conscious overthinker with a phenomenal ability to express myself but here I find it absolutely hard to say what concerns me on the subject of this post in a way that I don’t come across as judgmental and at the same time remain concerned, cautious and well, myself! This post is about smoking and my experiences with it, passive and personal. But somehow I find it extremely hard, ideologically, to express my disgust towards it and my concern for my people who happen to be addicted to it but will never admit to that.
Anyway, this post is an ice breaker for my own self, something I’ve been holding back for a long time now. I’ll come straight to the point. I loathe the smell of cigarettes. And what I loathe more than that is public smoking. I mean, I get it, people want to smoke because
they enjoy it,
or because it’s cool (when they give me this reason for their smoking habits I totally stand on the highest pedestal of judgement and look down upon them because come on! At least spoil your lungs for a better reason),
or some people are like those agenda smokers, they smoke for some symbolic reason, example,
(it’s feminism gone wrong by the way. I’ll quote directly) “I know women should not smoke because it biologically affects their system in a way that it becomes difficult for them to conceive but you know what, I am not a birth canal or some child bearing vessel. I’ll smoke and make a deviation in the system.”
One more interesting one comes from my close and very dear friend,
“I had a serious break up, I was holding on to him for seven years. Now, I have to leave, I have to leave for myself. I smoke because I need something to hold on to get away from him completely.”
And in my head I’m thinking, ‘So, you want to burn your lungs out for that?’ Duh-uh!
This one is the existential smoker! “See, I don’t want to live long enough anyway, so I’ll smoke my way out.” Umm, yes you will and not peacefully.
So, okay, I get it. You want to smoke and fuck up your breathing system, Fine. I respect your choice (I loathe it all the same but…) but I don’t want your fucking smoke messing up my system! Respect my choice to not smoke! I’ve seen this, these pseudo intellectuals actually have a tendency to judge you for being an anti-smoker because they want to eventually conclude that you are indeed judgmental, old school geek who after all these years of education cannot respect someone’s choice to do whatever he wants to do. Hello! The judgement I feel is back on you because apparently the criticism comes back to your shameless public smoking.
Intellectual engagements actually complicate a lot of things in my head and considering I’m pursuing English Literature, obviously they happen almost every day. We were reading Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, and it lead the discussion to a point where the moderator said that no one should occupy a position and tell us what to do because as an individual you know what you are doing and what’s good for you and what’s not. She also ended up giving an example how anti smokers have this tendency to tell their smoker friends to stop smoking as if the smokers do not know what’s good for them. So, I mean what does one do? Remain dumb and not express genuine concern only because ideologically speaking, the smoker knows what’s good for him and then that concern is basically premised on something through which the concerned is trying to control and take away the agency of the concernee? Seriously?
Yes, it’s disgusting to see them buy packs of cigarettes and not being able to voice out because you are ideologically conflicted or because you’ve said enough or because after a point they just don’t care. I’ve heard their stupid idiosyncrasies too!
“I’m not addicted to smoking because I don’t buy a pack of cigarettes.”
Yes, you smoke like 4-5 cigarettes a day, so really putting them in a pack or out wouldn’t make much difference, would it?
“I am not addicted to smoking!”
Yeah, I see that. This one’s classic.
“It’s cold out here, so…”
So, put layers of clothes on you not layers of cancer.
“I’m going to quit soon.”
Yeah, I can see that. I hear this a thousand times.
“I was really upset.”
Ummm? What? So, try getting used to it because your lungs will get back to you on that.
No, it doesn’t make sense to me and it wouldn’t. In spite of all those sickening warning images on the packets, in the advertisements, if one continues to smoke, then I guess that ignorance would be really blissful. I mean it’s okay, you can ignore that smoking will kill you but painful death, seriously? One must have like a superb level of indulging in the pleasures of dying slowly and severely.
There is something viscerally repulsive in my system when it comes to smoking. Yes, passive smoking chokes! And no, I will not gladly take it or ‘adjust’ just because we happen to hang out together. So, next time you see me seeing you smoke, what I’m really doing is abhorring your presence, getting angry (obviously), and quietly saying in my head,