World No-Tobacco Day 2001

by C.Chad Runyon

6:58 am goddam alarm clock. oh yeah. today's the day. let's go, boy. get up and go work out so I can kick the habit. not sure if i should lift weights or ride a stationary bike or try out one of those treadmills. haven't even thought about a cigarette yet.

7:04 am beautiful day. i guess. this is where i always smoked in the morning. right here on the front stoop. should've emptied that ashtray. all those dead little butts staring at me. guess this stoop will always be sentimental. maybe i should find a new place to live. too many memories here. good thing i'm finally going to use the workout room before i move.

7:08 am goddamit. forgot the key to the workout room. my brain must be getting used to working without nicotine. brain, you're going to be something else when you're on your own two feet. nicotine doesn't do anything chemically to help you think, does it? i have known a lot of smart people who smoked. i wonder if i would have remembered the key while i was standing there having a smoke.

7:12 am ah, here you are again, old front stoop. yes, i see you cigarette butts. i'll throw you away soon, just like i threw away your pouch of tobacco and rolling papers last night. ha ha! you'll be in the dumpster with your mommy soon! quit looking at me. evil cigarettes. fuck you. fuck you, evil cigarettes.

7:17 am good. there's nobody here to watch me work out. been a long time. why is that tv so loud? there's an energy crisis and they leave a loud ass tv on all night? i wonder if i should stretch. do you need to stretch to walk? how do you turn this damn television down? i always thought these treadmill machines were stupid. i could just go outside and walk. this remote lets you change the channel but you can't turn the volume down? i guess if you're on the machine you have to keep walking. why isn't there a volume button. if i was just walking around i might see something and stop to look at it for a while and that wouldn't be much exercise. maybe i should push one of those nautilus machines over to the wall so i can climb up there and try to turn the volume down by hand.

8am good. tv's at a decent volume. let's do this. do you just start walking? what are these buttons. cardio. time. incline. i don't know. power. there we go. good. just walk those cravings off. not too bad. feels just like i'm walking down the street. hey, it's roker. i bet he doesn't smoke. i can't let that fat bastard outlive me.

8:10 am uh oh. somebody's here. middle-aged lady. hi. why did she look at me like that? am i sweating too much? what?

8:11am whoa. why is her treadmill going so fast? am i not doing this right? what is she making that face at the tv for? don't look at me lady. i don't know who turned the volume down. maybe you could hear it if your machine wasn't making so much noise. what's she doing? you can't change the volume that way. i'm telling you, that remote's a piece of crap. how did she do that?

8:12 am she just gave me another weird look. i'd better try to turn this machine up. just don't do it when she's looking. she'll think i'm trying to compete with her or something. i'm not giving you the pleasure, lady. oh, i see. she's brought a magazine so she can stand there reading while she's walking. you've been here before. lots of times. man, this does go a lot faster when you push that button.

8:15 am why isn't she holding on to the bar? she's just walking along with her arms swinging like she's the queen of the world. are you not supposed to hold on? it's time to turn this thing up to full blast and just walk like i do outside. i don't need this bar to kee--

9 am i bet lots of people fly off the back of the treadmill the first time they use it. there's not even directions or anything. i could probably sue those people. and that damn lady should've just minded her own business. acting like she's concerned. don't think i didn't see you trying not to laugh, lady.

9:11 am i can't believe i just ate nine doughnuts.

9:30 am nice shower. glad i'm not working today. i have to start hanging out with non-smokers at work anyway. nothing personal. i just prefer to be around people who take care of themselves. i'd better take a nap.

12:45 pm mm. guess i needed the sleep. how many hours have i gone without a cigarette. do you count the hours when you're sleeping or taking a nap or just the hours when you're awake? some day i'll look back on today and laugh but be sort of proud too. i guess there's still some doughnuts in the kitchen.

12:48 pm those doughnuts are nice. now that i'm not wasting my money on cigarettes, i can buy all the doughnuts i want. yessir. i remember when i quit last time i added it all up and figured out that in something like six months i should be able to buy a brand new car and probably a motorcycle too.

12:49 pm oh yeah. i only spend something like eight bucks a week on tobacco since i started rolling my own. it seemed so nice saving all that money, but now i realize i just wasn't thinking ahead. i'm hardly going to save anything if i quit now. maybe i should start smoking filters for a while so it'll make a big difference in my life when i quit again. i'd better watch some tv to take my mind off things.

1 pm ah. andy griffith. he always knows how to handle things. good old andy. what's he doing? i can't believe this. he's out on the porch thinking seriously about something. there must be a thousand episodes of this show, and i know that there's only one or two where he--christ! andy griffith's on the front porch smoking a cigarette. you beat everything, andy. you know that? you beat everything. switch this shit. what's on channel three. ricky ricardo's smoking? when the fuck did ricky start smoking? that's enough tv for today.

1:10 pm what now. maybe i really shouldn't try to quit until i'm getting sex on a regular basis again. that really helps. but when i do have sex i'll still want a cigarette when it's over. no, i'm quitting all by myself and i'm going to work out and get fit and probably enter a marathon in a couple months. maybe even place. that's the way it's going to be.

1:22 pm i'm glad they emptied this thing yesterday afternoon and not last night. the pouch of tobacco is still right there in the corner and people haven't thrown too much new garbage in yet. looks like just a few pieces of egg shell on the pouch. that'll wipe right off. god i hope i don't fall in this dumpster.