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May 24, 2017

Twenty years ago this evening I took a cigarette out of the pack – a Marlboro in the red box – and tucked it behind my ear. Then I squeezed the half-empty pack and gave it a twist and dropped it into the trash. I emptied the ash tray into the trash bag. I picked up the trash bag and put it into a plastic bag, tied the plastic bag and hauled it down three flights of stairs and dropped it into the dumpster in the back of the building. I went back upstairs, washed my hands and did whatever I did that night, always feeling the cigarette behind my ear. A couple of hours passed and right around 10:00 – 10:30 pm I lit the cigarette. I enjoyed lighting the cigarette and I smoked it slow.  I held the smoke in as long as I could before exhaling, and when I exhaled I enjoyed watching the smoke drift slowly out of my nose and mouth. I enjoyed watching the ember flare bright red. I enjoyed tapping the ash off into the ashtray. I smoked that cigarette straight down to the filter before I stubbed it out in the ashtray. I stood up and emptied the ashtray into the toilet and flushed the butt and ashes down. I dropped the ashtray into a trash bag along with my Bic lighter. I took the bag, crumbled it up and went back down the three flights of stairs and dropped it into the dumpster in the back of the building. I went back upstairs, washed my hands and went to sleep. The next morning, May 25, 1997, I woke up a non-smoker. For whatever reason, that night was the charm and after I don’t know how many attempts I stayed a non-smoker.

It’s been 20 years since I’ve had a cigarette. Two decades. 7,300 days. That’s a long time.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2017 7:01 pm

    Ummm…this was kinda cigarette porn, Michael. Makes me want to smoke, and I was never able to manage inhaling…Don’t ever get a job writing for Phillip Morris.

    Good on you that you were able to quit, and not look back and turn into a pillar of smokes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sherece permalink
    May 24, 2017 9:06 pm

    Congrats! Kudos! Any former smoker knows how difficult it is to quit. Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. May 25, 2017 12:37 pm

    Where’s my cookie? wait! Now I get two, right?


    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      May 26, 2017 6:10 am

      🙂 I’ll have to dust off my cookbook and get busy!

      Liked by 1 person

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