Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Smoke on the water...

I have no regrets about having quit smoking. I stopped before it became a health issue for me, and just before the tariffs and restrictions in New York got to obnoxious proportions. My last cigarette was had literally the week before the price of a pack went up to $7.00, and soon thereafter, people weren't allowed to smoke anywhere, even bars. I still get cravings from time to time, though. They're not really that distracting anymore, and there is a built-in failsafe mechanism in that I've been quit long enough if I actually smell a cigarette, I lose interest in smoking. The cigarettes in the dream smell and taste like how I remember them smelling and tasting, and so once I get a whiff of what the real deal smells like, the conditioned revulsion takes over and the craving disappears.

This journal is called "Monsters from the Id," however,¹ and so my subconcious has to make an appearance sometime. In this case, it is because I had a very vivid dream on Wednesday night in which I had a cigarette. After I had it, I started beating myself up for having done so until I woke up, at which point I could breath a sigh of relief having realized that I have not, in fact, smoked a cigarette.

There are two aspects of this that are interesting. One is that this occurs once every few months and it is the only aspect of any dream that I can reliably be sure of remembering once I wake up. The other is that my dreamscape is usually otherwise unremarkable, so despite all of my personal hang-ups (and I have a lot of them, don't I?) the largest anxiety that my subconcious can make stick in that realm is my resolve not to smoke. Which is, of course, completely dispelled by realizing that it was a dream and I didn't have a smoke.

When I smoked, I used to hate those annoying people that quit and became Anti-Smoking Crusaders, and I have avoided this behavior as much as possible. However, over time as less and less of my friends smoke and as anti-smoking laws take full effect, my tolerance for it has lessened significantly.

Naturally as soon as I quit I collaborated on a screenplay in which everybody smokes. What can I say, smoke is cinematic. If you don't believe me, go watch Pulp Fiction. That movie gives nicotine cravings to people who don't smoke.

¹ If you haven't seen the groundbreaking science fiction pulp classic Forbidden Planet from 1956, you really ought to. It is dated, to be sure, but the glorious spectacle of the CinemaScope production has dimmed little over the years, the abstract score remains unique and fascinatingly surreal and the story is a nifty adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Tempest. I wouldn't suggest a double feature with Prospero's Books, however.
Tags: cinema

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