The Vape

The Vape

Dear Diary,

It has been a very long time since my last confession. Nostalgia prevents me from closing this account after deleting every post. This blog feels neglected and lonely, two feelings that fit like an old, favorite pair of jeans, even if the feelings are totally unwarranted presently.

I’ve quit smoking, but I won’t change my author page until I’ve succeeded from not smoking for the same amount of time that I smoked. That’s a little over 13 frikkin’ years. I’m on month number four, with only a few hiccups here and there. Currently, I vape. It’s an industry approximately 10 years old in the US.

Big tobacco is shitting bricks. There’s a lot of noise going on concerning how safe vaping might be, with very little mention of how safer vaping is compared to smoking. I find all current “research” dubious at best. Instead, I’ve decided to let my body do the talking.

I have a physically demanding job. And when I was smoking, my job was much more difficult. My relationship with the gym was near nonexistent, and when I did go, my performance was substandard at best. Every night before going to bed, I knew, and felt guilty, I was going to snore, disturbing my wife’s rest. I also knew I was going to have a stuffy nose, and I knew I’d wake up the next morning feeling like crap, dying to immediately feed my addiction at the first opportunity.

My stamina and endurance was at an all time low, and along with that, my self-esteem as well. Now, my body is working entirely differently. I can breathe again. I can taste food. I snore less, if at all. I wake up alert and ready to tackle the day. I’m much more focused. And over the last four months, my concentrated nicotine intake has been reduced from 18mg to a max of 4mg.

The vaping community is another plus. Most of us are former smokers, or smokers still in the struggle, working together to help each other quit tobacco for good. We’re a world wide support group. It’s damn cool. I only wish I could convince some coworkers of making the switch.

Vaping isn’t without its controversy, as I briefly touched upon. Below, I’ll leave the latest link I came upon earlier this morning with concerns to e-cigarettes. Still, it’s not half as bad as smoking “analog cigarettes”, (forgive the pretentious terminology, but it’s my new favorite.)

Click here for the article.

April ’09

This is the mental image I’m trying to keep in my head, as I make my second, serious attempt to quit smoking.  Non-nicotine addicts, my wife included, can not fully understand my plight.  I even have a friend who swears he quit smoking, having never made a habit out of smoking REAL cigarettes in the first place.  In my book he’s a non-nicotine addict as well.

To offset the eventual increase in appetite and weight gain, I joined a gym a few weeks ago, and have started to work at getting back what I have lost.  I wish I had pictures of me around the age of 23 so you kids could see why I was nicknamed the “Puertorican Adonis with a cock of steel and a heart of gold”.  Alas, I don’t have many pictures from that time depicting that image.  But who knows?  Maybe someday again I’ll be as strong as her:

Thats a BIG bitch!

That's a BIG bitch!

I’ll keep you posted.

“God fogs no bar.” (Nicoderm CQ Nightmare)

I quit smoking this morning.  Basically, after 9+ years of smoking, I finally decided enough was enough.  Every cigarette I smoked, and I smoked about a pack and half a day, tasted like trash and made me feel like trash, but I’m a nicotine addict.  So I asked my girlfriend to buy me “the patch” for Christmas, and she did.  I was going to wait until the first of the new year to start the program, but I honestly thought I’d be dead by then, as the anxiety of a set date made me smoke even more.  So after getting home from work this morning, I said to myself, “Just do it today.”

After a nice long shower and some relaxation, I applied the patch as directed to a hairless section of my body.  Being of Latin-Mestizo blood, this was a rather easy task (finding a hairless spot, that is).  Immediately, the spot where I placed the patch started to itch insanely so, but after a few minutes the itching subsided, and the welcoming wooziness of a morning cigarette set into my brain.  Having errands to run, I didn’t get to sleep as I usually do after a night of work, so I set about my tasks.  I didn’t smoke on the long drive before me, and I didn’t smoke after a good brunch after my errands.

Having to attend a meeting later on in the day, I decided to take a nap, as my fatigue caught up to me.  Then the Nicoderm CQ Nightmare commenced.  It started with my girlfriend dropping me off in my old neighborhood, to pick me up later after her own errands.  While on a familiar block from my childhood, I came across an old friend, and we decided to hit a diner for some snacks.  This is where it got a little weird.

The diner was located on a section of an avenue where there is no diner, but in the dream I didn’t seem to mind.  We took a seat but ordered no food.  We were just talking and joking, and I was talking very loudly.  Most of the other patrons didn’t seem to mind, and were rather amused by my obnoxiousness. However, there was one Fat Man who didn’t appreciate my loud mouth, and he made it rather clear in his own obnoxious manner.  The first two times, I ignored him.  I wasn’t looking for a fight.  But on his third attempt, I had enough, approached him, and invited him outside.  He gave me a stare and said nothing.  I bet him one hundred dollars that he couldn’t beat me in a fight, and at the mention of the money, he accepted my challenge.

As we stepped outside the diner, I took off my shirt and quickly rotated my shoulders to warm up, and the fat man quickly conceded before the first punch.  As he made his way back into the diner, I yelled behind him that he better have my hundred dollars when I got back inside.  Sure enough, he was counting out the bills as I again approached his table.  Then it hit me:  this fat man was not the Fat Man who insulted me earlier.  I quickly apologized for issuing the challenge and told him to put his money away.

At this point, my friend received an emergency call over his radio (he’s a cop) and he had to leave.  I couldn’t remember where I parked my car, so he offered to give me a quick ride after I couldn’t make out the gibberish he spoke when giving me directions to where I parked.  We jumped in his car and pulled off.  When he parked his vehicle, we were still at the diner.  That’s when I saw the real Fat Man staring at me from the diner window.  Suddenly, I realized that it must’ve been the Fat Man who stole my car!

Again I approached his table to confront him, when he and his female companion left the diner.  I didn’t follow the Fat Man because of what I saw crushed into the booth where they were sitting.  It was my car!  I stood frozen in shock.  I didn’t know what to do.  I asked my friend Josh to help me pull my car out from under the table.  With ease we did so, and that’s when I could see the total damage to my vehicle.  Immediately it hit me that I didn’t have the money on hand for the insurance deductible, and I wasn’t even sure if my insurance covered “car crushed into a diner booth”.

I reached for my phone to call the cops, when all of a sudden I recieved a text.  At first, the message made absolutely no sense.  But after a little thought, I remembered why this had to happen to me, and why the Fat Man hated me – I was a complete loud-mouthed jerkoff in the diner.  While I made a few people laugh, most were annoyed by my manner, and meals were disturbed.

If there’s a lesson to be learned by this nicotine-patch-inspired dream, it’s in the title of this entry, and the text that I received from an Unknown Texter:

“God fogs no bar.”

Think about it.