372 days ago, I quit smoking. I remember quite clearly all those 8928 hours ago, standing on the corner of 57th and 9th, wind whipping up in a mighty crosstown gust from the Hudson, as I attempted to hail a cab, talk on my cell, have a panic attack, and chew Nicorette simultaneously.
I remember how beyond badly I wanted to quit quitting cigarettes. I remember being paralyzed on the corner, a frantic mass of multitasking, unable to decide whether to go home, to the Village(my spiritual home), or swan dive into the Hudson. I was unable to decide anything. Smoking allowed me the space to deliberate and without it, I was lost.
In my usual extreme and highly romantic way, I had decided I would only quit once. I would be encouraged by a perfect record, by my toughness at going cold turkey, but mostly by the story I would tell later about how I succeeded. I do this with a lot of things- I write the story first and then attempt to live it. Sometimes it works.
I told myself that if I could keep a perfect record, I was allowed to chew as much Nicorette for as long as I wanted and up until I read a thing in the Times saying nicotine straight up was still bad for you, I thought I would just pull an Imus and chew myself into my twilight years.
But now, a year later having gained equally useless habits, it's time I say goodbye to the chew. Wish me luck.