Cigarettes & Co-workers

As she was undressing she asks “Why do you smoke cigarettes?” As I hear this, I let out a small cloud before sighing in thought. And then I respond.

“Are you asking that because it’s a dirty, filthy, disgusting, health deteriorating habit that leads to a slow and painful death? Or are you asking that because you worry about how long I will live so that you will then be able to encourage adherence to a painfully health-conscious culture that continually tries to cheat death with the likes of fat free butter, low carb bread, or any other kinds of those oxymoronic gifts modern science has given us?”

She is shocked by my initial tirade. She probably was expecting an I like it or an I dunno so that she can tell me what non-smokers think smokers do not already know: “Cigarettes will kill you.”

I continue.

“An advantage of smoking ostentatiously is that it encourages onlookers to pass judgment on the content of my character without having to talk to me. They can assume that I am oblivious to the negative effects of smoking and thus lacking prudence; prudence that they obviously have. In a way, I help to simplify their day and bolster their self-esteem. And then I don’t have to talk to them. Everyone wins.

“But as for my own personal reasons, I can name any number of carpe diem ethics that would encourage indulging myself while I am still in relatively sound health compared to decrepit old age. The pleasant tactile sensation and comfort in the routine, and comparatively less agitated state I am in after processing nicotine definitely encourages the addiction. When I do come of old age, however, cigarettes will have embarked on their warpath of a slow and excruciating death, but there is no lack of information that makes it so that I am not constantly reminded of this. The fact that I continue might suggest a sort of reckless masochism or personal perception of a low self-worth, but I think that’s accessory to the point-”

“So what is the point?” she interrupts. I think for a second. The answer is as much a revelation to her as it is to me.

“I don’t fear pain or death.”

Nor do I think one should have to.

And this concludes yet another reason not to sleep with co-workers even if they are this beautiful.


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December 2007
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