Miss Letting-Go-Getting


Miss LGG has…finished with her smoking
May 6, 2008, 6:28 am
Filed under: Life | Tags: ,

I totally stole that title from a new David Sedaris story in the May 5 issue of the New Yorker, coincidentally titled “Letting Go.” which I came across while flipping through the magazine on the train ride home tonight– pretty funny considering today was the deadline I had set for myself to quit smoking. I took it as a sign that the pack in my bag absolutely had to be the last…

“It’s one thing to give up smoking, and another to become a former smoker. That’s what I would be the moment I left the bar, and so I lingered awhile, looking at my garish disposable lighter and the crudded-up aluminum ashtray. When I eventually got up to leave, Hugh pointed out that I had five cigarettes left in my pack.

“Are you just going to leave them there on the table?”

I answered with a line I’d got years ago from a German woman. Her name was Tini Haffmans, and though she often apologized for the state of her English, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any better. When it came to verb conjugation, she was beyond reproach, but every so often she’d get a word wrong. The effect was not a loss of meaning but a heightening of it. I once asked if her neighbor smoked, and she thought for a moment before saying, “Karl has . . . finished with his smoking.”

She meant, of course, that he had quit, but I much preferred her mistaken version. “Finished” made it sound as if he’d been allotted a certain number of cigarettes, three hundred thousand, say, delivered at the time of his birth. If he’d started a year later or smoked more slowly, he might still be at it, but, as it stood, he had worked his way to the last one, and then moved on with his life. This, I thought, was how I would look at it. Yes, there were five more Kool Milds in that particular pack, and twenty-six cartons stashed away at home, but those were extra—an accounting error. In terms of my smoking, I had just finished with it.”

Myself…I acquired the habit early on in college as a misguided means of proving that I was most definitely not the sweet, innocent, baby faced thing that many people took me for. I would delight in people saying “you don’t look like a smoker,” and I would think HA, fooled you. I am a smoker and I’m totally bad-ass. This cigarette in my hand clearly proves it. I know it’s stupid, but fuck-it–I’m nineteen and despite appearances, I’m tough and surly and you better not mess with me or I’ll…I’ll…burn you with my cigarette. What? It wasn’t long before I was in love with my addiction and anyone who gave me grief about it could bug off, they obviously didn’t understand.

Now I’m thirty-two, addicted once again, and smoking doesn’t make me feel so bad-ass anymore. It just feels…gross. Plus also, I hear it can kill you or something?

Oh my lovely little friends, this dirty nasty affair of ours must come to an end. I’m tired of breaking up with you only to get sucked back into an expensive and guilt-ridden relationship. I will miss you, but it’s sooo over. For good this time. For real.

I smoked one last deliciously disgusting cigarette while writing this post and flushed the remaining five (in the spirit of the story) down the toilet. I’m not going to lie to you–it made me sad to see them go, but I am determined to do this. It’s definitely time to do this. I have finished with my smoking.

XXXOOO

Miss LGG

P.S. To my friends who still smoke, I will never judge or abandon you.  Just don’t let me talk you into giving me a cigarette.  I’m real good at that.



Moving Up: Moving Away as Office: Oregon?
April 16, 2008, 3:40 am
Filed under: Life | Tags: ,

Packin’, movin’ and leavin’ has been par for the course during the past couple of weeks. First off, I finally left the dark, depressing windowless office in which I have moped away one-fourth of my life for a bigger, brighter space with a view of Lake Michigan. Granted it’s through a window with chicken wire which makes me go all cross-eyed, but whatever–it’s still a WINDOW! looking out at the LAKE! I didn’t realize what an impact a little daylight could make on the spirit until today when I was basking in the sunshine streaming through my big old new window, staring at the aqua blueness of the lake, actually enjoying my work, and SMILING. I was half afraid I had turned into a vampiress after spending so much time in my bat-cave of a former office, but nope, what I experienced today was pure glee! Hopefully it will last (or at least get me through my final months at this never-ending gig)!

Here are some pics of the old digs and the new view! There is also a creepy face in the molding on the building across from my window–I feel like he’s judging me as I opt for a little game of Chicktionary rather than crunching the numbers.

In addition to moving offices, a dear friend of mine abruptly decided to leave Chicago after ten years of living here. As I helped her pack up the truck last night, I couldn’t be too sad, because she is excited and ready for big change. That being said…though I know the move will be good for her, I’ve watched many friends drive their loaded cars and trucks away from the city over the years and it keeps getting harder to say goodbye.

So…I’ve got moving on my mind. A little change of scenery if you will. A room with a view, and a good friend leaving has inspired me to revisit my own desire for big change. The packing up a truck, driving through flatlands and mountains until I reach the ocean kind of big change. I suppose the notion has been on my mind for quite some time now, but I’ve been hesitant because

  • I love Chicago with all of my being
  • It took me a long ass time to love Chicago with all of my being
  • I don’t want to feel like I’m running away
  • I thrive on the thrill and rush of city life (as frustrating as it can be)
  • My darling parents, brother and dear friends are near

BUT

  • I’ve always wanted to move to Oregon, and I’ve always had a hunch that I should be there
  • Mountains, oceans, forests, snowboarding, rafting, climbing, hiking…need I say more?
  • Good friends making good theatre
  • My darling brother, mentor and second family would be near
  • Solitude if I seek it, would be minutes away

Oh what to do, what to do?

XXXOOO

Miss LGG