Ode to a Nightengale

I have not had a cigarette since Sunday, July 27, at approximately 8:30 PM, so if I make it till 8:30 PM, Saturday, August 8, I will not have had a cigarette, if my math is correct for 13 days.  Making it till 8:30 PM is far from assured.  For sadly, I must say I do not feel better, having not smoked a cigarette for 12 days, but much, much worse.  At my previous intake of 12 cigarettes with about 12 cups of coffee a day, I can say, that while I was not operating at optimal efficiency, I was at least somewhat functional.

Now I don’t have the emotional strength, the mental powers of concentration, or the physical wherewithal to summon the adjectives or to develop an analogy that might evoke my state; so instead I use the words of John Keats who knew fatigue since he was dying of TB.

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

      My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,

Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

     One minute past and Lethe-wards I had sunk

Well, that sums up my current state pretty well I think.  A “drowsy numbness” does “pain my sense” and my head as well as my heard aches and I yearn to slip Lethe-wards towards Oblivion (sleep) like every second.

The only positive trend I have been so far able to detect, I detected with my trusty blood pressure machine that I bought for the low, low price of $19.95 at Costco.  Just a few minutes ago my blood pressure registered 104 over 51 with a resting pulse of 55.  These I have been told are good numbers, those even of an athlete.  But since I am not an athlete and incapable of such endeavor because of my knees and elbow problems, I must conclude something has gone terribly wrong.  Perhaps it’s my thyroid.  And while people may die of high blood pressure, I think it should be noted that when people are actually dead their blood pressure is very low.

But through the fatigue and the Lethe-wards sinking, one thing remains crystal clear:

I WANT A CIGARETTE.

3 thoughts on “Ode to a Nightengale”

  1. You crack me up. Glad to see you back blogging. Maybe you should get a motorcycle? Riding my bike takes my mind off everything else. I think you would look “bad ass” on a scooter.
    You will feel better….give it time.

  2. To quote a doctor: “That’s a widow-maker, pal.”
    I heard Terry Gross interview Marianne Faithfull at one point. Ms. Gross asked Marianne if she had ever wondered why she had made it, why she was still alive, when so many others who had a habit were dead. Ms. Faithfull answered that she was quite surprised that she was still alive, that she had fully expected to die. And then she explained how to kick a habit. Whenever you get the thought, you immediately actively distract yourself. In her case, if the thought came into her mind that she wanted heroin, she’d go and focus very intently on putting on her make-up in the mirror, for example. It doesn’t matter what you do. Go stand on your back deck and sing “Here I Am” (Track 7 on your incredible CD Sea of Love) or clean out the lint trap in your dryer and then run it under the kitchen tap, thoroughly, or start building an archive of images you might like to have on tap for the blog, proceeding entirely intuitively–I love your blog’s visual component–or call your friends in Houston or Windex the corners of your new windows or….
    I’m not without sympathy, Nick. I started smoking cigs when I was 10, I think, I was up to a pack a day by the time I was 14. Kept that up for more than 20 years. Quit after watching a friend die when the lung cancer spread to her brain. The wanting is the last thing to go. However, I’d like to see you stay alive, and the cigarettes will kill you.

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