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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Smoker's Diary #6: Jeanne Moreau, Nicolas Cazale and the Number 13

Photograph by Rob San Miguel (
Seoul 2008)
Stress stress stress and more stress, nothing pushes someone off the wagon than good ole fashioned stress.  Just when you start feeling good about yourself, someone just take a dump right in front of you and that would make you want to leap out the unstable buggy.  Or maybe, you think you’re almost scot free, yards away from the perils of the inner city, then someone hurls manure right on your new white shirt. Stress stress stress stress, you’re such a four letter word and mind you, not even the good kind of four letter word.  Don’t worry. I have not fallen off the wagon yet.  Still seated comfortably despite cannon balls of s*** being hurled at me.  
Day 13:  Triskaidekaphobia.
It is the only phobia that I still remember from the list of phobias that my high school English teacher asked us to memorize.  She also asked us to memorize other important Latin phrases that all precocious English students should know; for example, exempli gratia (e.g.), loco citato (loc. cit), ibidem, et al, id est (i.e.), and fait accompli, although fait accompli  is French.  Now, it is not really that crucial to learn these obviously superfluous terms but she said that the difference between an interesting person and a really interesting person was usually determined by one word.  She said that we needed an “ah” factor.  At first, we thought she was completely loony but she proved me wrong.  Back in college, one classmate asked me who I could predict as the next chairman of the club, and I said Mister So-and-so.  My classmate asked me how certain I was and I replied, “it’s fait accompli.”  One English professor, who looked down on me because I came from the canals of Valenzuela, was startled upon hearing me say that elusive word meant only for the French croissant-fed students.   What happened next, to put it simply, he hated me even more but I had other useful Latin phrases I can hurl at him in case he ever bothered me again.
But I digress.

It is the thirteenth day and it supposed to get easier but, actually, it is not.  I always have that one cigarette at the back of my mind. Just one, one won’t hurt.  Oh, I just need one self-centered lunatic like my professor to push me down the edge.  Not now, when I have forgotten all the Latin and French words that I used to know.  I think all smokers who quit believe that there’s that one incident that could make them throw everything down the toilet and f*** it.   
Anyway, it will be just a few more hours before this dreadful thirteenth day is over.  I wish I could say my quitting is fait accompli, but non Monsieur et Mademoiselles , I still have in my head  the image of Jeanne Moreau smoking and laughing at me while Nicolas Cazale says, “Vous êtes fou.”

P.S. Coughing update: Still coughing, lungs not yet done expelling whatever it is that my lungs want to expel. How much tar do I have in there? 1, 2, 3, ... 10, 11, 12, and 13... not smoking.
"Vous êtes fou" means "You're crazy."

Next: Smoker's Diary #7

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