Sede Vacante

The light is on but no one is home.

The third day is over…

Other than a not-so unexpected weight gain of about a kilo over the weekend, things are quite manageable as far as the nicotine withdrawal goes.  Physically, other than an upset stomach over the weekend, there really wasn’t much drama to it.  What’s more difficult is breaking the sheer habit of lighting up, and not having something to do when you’ve got nothing to do.

If you watched Trainspotting, psychologically, I’m right about at the part where the dead baby starts crawling on the ceiling….

As I’ve said previously, in the 82 days I’ve spent in Vietnam, I’ve inadvertently associated everything I do with smoking.  Since quitting, I’m finding everything slightly off-kilter… like something is missing with my common workaday experiences.  Even the simple joy of having ca phe sua da feels strangely castrated and incomplete.  Taking a break from work (where you usually have only enough time for a cigarette and maybe a cup of coffee) has devolved into a source of stress–as one tries to figure out what to do, rather than a respite from it.

It’s those dull and empty moments that are proving the most difficult. It’s like there’s a tiny version of me in my head, and all it wants to do is to convince me that I should have just one last cigarette.  It doesn’t yell, but like god, it whispers… incessantly.  The only way to shut it up is to take a puff off of an imaginary cigarette.  So yes, if you see a nutbar walking down the streets of Ho Chi Minh, acting like an overfed version of Gollum/Smeagol while smoking an invisible cigarette, please be kind.  I just wantses one last cigarette…

In any case, they say the shakes come on the thirds… the third hour, the third day, the third week, the third month, and so on.  So I guess, I’m in the clear for 2 more weeks.

So where is that dead baby… maybe it has a cigarette for me….


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