None of this would be unusual except that I am lactose intolerant and I don't smoke.
I took them up one by one, the new vices. The first Game of Thrones novel was a shoe-in once I heard that Corey had read the series and liked it.
"The Lords of the Trident keep the King's peace," Ser Raymun Derry said. "The Lannisters have broken it. We ask leave to answer them, steel for steel. We ask justice for the small folk of Sherrer and Wendish Town and the Mummer's Ford."
"Edmure agrees, we must pay Gregor Clegane back his bloody coin."
In the novel, manly, armored knights ride gallantly forth into the great forests, wielding their silvery swords of justice. At least somebody gets to avenge the wrongs of the world, goes out to fully express the sense of unfairness that swells and implodes at times like this.
I don't smoke and I don't associate with people who smoke. Or, I didn't until about the third week of June, when suddenly cigarettes seemed like a great idea. A comfort. The swirl of smoke cocooning me and my daughter's fiance' and their friends, out at the ranch in California. We sat morning, afternoon and evening, between errands and after meals: talking, grieving, theorizing, ranting--and smoking.
It is a good thing I never tried heroine or crack or barbiturates. It is a good thing I'm not on anti-depressants now because the doc would have to amp up the dosage to levels appropriate for a gorilla. The sky's the limit. It is a good thing I have no tolerance for, no taste for, alcohol. Maybe twice a month I enjoy a glass of wine with friends (never alone: that would be depressing). But If I loved alcohol I would start each morning now with a good stiff drink, and who knows how the day would proceed after that? I would most likely watch the sun rise and set while lying on the sofa--eventually the floor-- unable to move, steeped in the peaceful golden haze of bourbon. But I have been spared that predilection, and so I use the vices available to me: Ben and Jerry's, Game of Thrones, American Spirits.
I knew I was in trouble the morning I laid down my yoga mat and before I could get through the first vinyassana I thought about having a cigarette and a cup of coffee. I have a little history: from the age of 15 and a half (when a very close family member suddenly and tragically died) I closet-smoked a half pack a day until I became pregnant at 22. Motherhood and smoking simply do not go together. In the ensuing decades I had three brief returns to smoking, all lasting a year or so.
I tell myself: Corey smoked (she called us excitedly when she quit several times a year), many great leaders and authors and people I admire smoke. My mother and father smoked, back in the days when cigarettes were completely cool and men in crisp white coats (supposedly doctors) advised everyone to take up cigarettes for the relaxing health benefits. But my mother died of emphysema and my father died of lung cancer so that does not bode well for me if I were to keep this up.
I didn't know what brand to buy so I just got what my daughter's friends were smoking: American Spirits yellow. The light ones. I know it is a shameful scam, the name of these lung-killers, but reaching for the pack, I feel patriotic and rebellious at the same time. Totally American.
Quitting these things won't be easy. But for now, in these early weeks of getting through each day, I will lean into it and ask for help giving it up later on. It is possible that I will end up a fat, grieving cigarette smoker. But maybe not, since I am still drinking fresh kale-beet-carrot-ginger juice and hiking a couple of mountain miles each morning. We will see.