Nao Fumer

I’ve given up smoking. It was easy. Really easy. Don’t know what the big deal is. Just stopped. Twelve days and counting. It’s just better. I am possessed of so much more energy it’s amazing. I can’t believe I smoked for so long, what was I thinking? Before giving up I struggled to even get out of bed.

I was up at 5:30 this morning, fully dressed and wide-awake and staring out of the window, hardly even blinking. Smoking is so stupid. Not only does it kill you it also makes time go quicker. So although a smoker might die aged forty-five that only tells half the story because those forty-five years will have zoomed by. No, smoking really is for idiots. After staring out of the window for what seemed like ages I looked at the clock. It was 5:33. I blinked.

I’d have gone for another run, there was time before work but I went for three yesterday and my achilles tendon really can’t take much more. For thirty minutes before I got climbed out of bed to stare out of the window I had to rotate my foot to stretch it, so I would be able to walk.

Instead of running I stared out of the window for an hour that felt like ten, savouring every fragrant breath I pulled into my lungs which surely by now are fully repaired and pink.

I would go for a run after work and possibly at lunch time, I told myself.

Lunch has been interesting as you know what they say about taste and smoking? How smokers can’t really appreciate and taste food? That’s probably completely true too! I haven’t confirmed it as I haven’t been able to eat anything. Eating make me too hot. I get really hot if I eat and I’m constantly sweating as it is. I’m so greasy I’ve broken out in spots everywhere. I guess it’s all the poison coming out of me and it’s a small price to pay for not smoking. Smoking is pathetic.

I passed an office building the other day and workers were huddled outside smoking. It was pathetic.

Pathetic.

During that hour I didn’t blink much and then Enrique came out of the side door of the garage, wheeling his lady’s style small white bike. I shook my head. Was I breathing? I waited. Yup, there’s one. I guess I hardly needed any real oxygen as I’ve survived for so long on carbon monoxide and zyklon b and whatever else it is they put in cigarettes to make them so damn tasty.

I tapped on the window and he looked up. I motioned for him to stay put while I ran down. I ran down but he’d set off and I shouted for him to wait. I then grabbed my mountain bike from next to his bed. The pedals got tangled around the cord for his lamp but I just yanked it. The lamp fell over but didn’t break. The bike then hit the door frame as I tried to get it outside and I was hot.

“Enrique, wait!” I shouted but when I finally passed the Trials of Job and got outside I saw that he was waiting. “I’ll ride with you.” I got on the bike and immediately felt the dull hit of metal on concrete through rubber. Looking down I saw the rear tyre was flat. I chuckled and stared ahead and after a few moments not chuckling I chuckled again.

I’d once been in a bicycle shop looking at something when a woman had brought in a bicycle to be repaired. She explained to the guy that she kept pumping the tyre up and it kept going down. “A puncture then?” The mechanic had said and everybody had laughed at the woman’s stupidity. Including me. However a tyre being flat is actually no indication of a puncture. Sometimes they just go flat when you leave them for ages. I hadn’t rode my bike for ages.

“Chu okay, man?” Asked Enrique. I looked over to him. “Chor face…” Enrique waved his hand around his own face, in case I didn’t know what a face was.

“Yeah, I was just… Wait there!” I got off the bike and tried to lean it on the corner of the garage. Took three attempts. I was trying to lean it on the saddle. I didn’t want the frame touching the corner of the wall and getting scratched but it kept moving. Eventually, like a good bike it stayed where I put it and I backed away with my hands out, ready to grab it if it started to slide. I held that pose as I backed into the garage and then spun and grabbed my pump. I pumped the tyre up and threw the pump back into the garage and then we were off. It was difficult to ride as slowly as Enrique and still balance on two wheels. Enrique probably travelled twice as far as I did as he was zig-zagging. He held his hat on with one hand and wobbled the handlebars with the other. It really seemed like he was deliberately shaking the handlebars rather than trying to stop them moving. I saw that the tyres on his bike were pretty much flat. I recalled him asking me to pump them up for him, this was months ago. I’d agreed to but then hadn’t bothered because of smoking. I’d do it tonight. Now that I wasn’t smoking I had plenty of time to pump up tyres.

“Can’t believe how easy it was to give up smoking,” I told him as we pedalled along, two abreast. He nodded. “You should give up heroin.” I said. “Knock it on the head.”

“Why?” He asked with a massive shake of his bicycle. I had to veer sideways to avoid him. I screwed up my face and looked down at the road. I felt the padded knock of metal bicycle rim hitting tarmac through a layer of rubber.

“It’s just better,” I told him.

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