I Quit

I suspect there are a multitude of reasons and excuses for being sporadic with a blog. Mine usually have to do with inspiration. I’m not always moved to write. My other monthly reason is quitting smoking. Without fail each attempt leaves me in bed struggling for consciousness. I am unsure if there is something beyond nicotine withdrawal as I am on several medications but food or friends fail to rouse me.

Typically I tire of being tired and use that as my first excuse to purchase another pack. I suddenly find myself with 25 reasons to keep the covers pulled back.

I have had a little more success this time though I am reluctant to claim victory over a long held habit. My usual scenario is a day or two in bed with a quick trip to the corner variety store for my cure to sleep. Miraculously I rise from my bed and sit in a chair on my balcony with smoke circling my head. I may not have the best perspective but this seems like progress. I have restrained myself from this small failing so far but it has been a struggle. I got out of bed today to vacuum up the dog and cat that lay scattered throughout the house but the vacuum was in danger. It conspired with its cord, corners and walls to not follow my intentions and came close to being broken further.

I use an empty kidney bean can for an ashtray outside on the balcony. Unfortunately we have had several days of rain and none of my butts are of any value. I took a decent one and held my lighter to it in an attempt to dry it out. If they weren’t so fragile I would have wrung it out first for better success. I put a few in the microwave for which I have paid dearly. Everything I have warmed in the last two days tastes like a cigarette minus the nicotine. There is no value to a cinnamon roll that tastes like tobacco.

I do have nicotine gum when I remember to chew it. I’m pretty sure I can chew and suck all the nicotine from a piece in under a minute. I swallow each piece as I am sure this is the only way to replenish what has seeped from my bones.

When I drive I have to restrain myself from pulling up to the people I can see smoking and offering two bucks for a smoke. I’m sure I could get one for free but I figure being accosted has a price.

I have been told exercise helps and as soon as the rain stops I intend to take my dog for a walk downtown with a baggie. I could care less if she poops on the sidewalk but I’ll be damned if I will pass by any juicy cigarette butts.


Pavlov’s Dog

My dog sometimes signals me when she has not had enough to eat or I have walked past her empty water dish. When she needs either she scratches at the metallic surface of her bowl. I’m not sure who is Pavlov’s dog for it is I who come running to the noise. Her hunger creates in me a series of behaviours. I guess it’s fair for I snap my fingers and she sits. I can also point and have her lay down. She is my only company for about 10 hours some days. She is always at my side and I feel safe knowing she is near. At night I can hear her yelp in her dreams and sigh into rest. It is comforting to know the beasts have dreams. Do they contain the agony and ecstasy that I scurry through in mine?

If I faced nothing in my dreams would I be able to face life?


When I was locked in the hospital I had difficulty knowing which day of the week it was. Most days seemed like “Groundhog Day.”

“Groundhog Day” is a movie where the main character Bill Murray wakes up each day to the exact same events; he is caught in a “time loop.” He realizes his predicament and tries to take advantage of the situation since no one else is aware of it. Finally he uses his situation to improve himself and those around him and eventually breaks the “time loop”.

Routine was supposed to be my friend. It was supposed to provide me with stability. In essence it was stagnating and presented a wide path to boredom.

Most of us are creatures of habit and subject ourselves and others to routine. I can appreciate how chaotic the world would be if we all woke up at different times but routine can be slumber itself. How much of the world goes unnoticed and unappreciated when we travel the same roads at the same time? We have the ability to find the unique even in routine but often the result is a string of days we pass through unaware of ourselves and our surroundings.

When I was a child repetition was used to sculpt my behaviour and knowledge. As a patient it seemed only to chip away at my spirit. I did not despise all of my regularity in part because I could not see it. I was unable to step to the side of myself with a view of me leaning against the same wall in the same hall waiting in line for medications. I was fairly content to wait for the food trays to roll down the hall with Saturday’s special. My most poignant recollection of routine was watching people form a line for medications. This wouldn’t be unusual normally but the evening line was almost always formed before the medication cart was present. People stood behind each other in front of nothing waiting for sedation. Routine may lead to productivity and continuity but it can slowly ruin a person who has no escape. We each have an inner clock but the bell does toll for thee and there is so much to see.

Is routine nature or nurture? Are your habits tied to the sun and moon or do you sway to some man-made tune?

I’m Thankful I Can Sit in the Front Seat When I Go Places

Happy Belated Thanksgiving (or happy ordinary day in the States)

This gratitude list is probably not like most you may encounter on the internet about this time. My list is in part hopefully just like yours. These may differ.

I’m thankful for daylight all day instead of the fifteen minutes at yard.

I’m thankful I can turn the lights off and on when I need.

I’m thankful I can eat with more than a spoon.

I’m thankful I can walk outside in every direction for as far as I like.

I’m thankful I can see trees and squirrels and traffic and birds and buildings and on and on.

I’m thankful I can dress in whatever I dare to choose.

I’m thankful I can eat mostly what I like instead of whatever they plop on the tray.

I’m thankful I can see and touch my family and friends whenever we choose.

I’m thankful I can experience hot and cold outside of the shower.

I’m thankful I can live with my pets.

I’m thankful I have control over the noise I experience.

I’m thankful I can eat when I’m hungry instead of by a clock.

I’m thankful I can communicate beyond a letter and stamp and without someone reading it first.

I’m thankful I can sit on comfortable furniture.

I’m thankful I have as much privacy as I need and want.

I’m thankful I can vote and enroll.

I’m thankful I can choose the channel on my TV.

I’m thankful there is a door on my bathroom.

I’m thankful I can brew real coffee.

I’m thankful my shoes have laces.

I’m thankful I can access my bed and pillow without someone’s command and key.

I’m thankful I can wear a watch or any form of decoration or declaration.

I’m thankful I can play cards for fun instead of to pass time.

I’m thankful I don’t have to live with 20 other people.

I’m thankful there are no video cameras surveilling me when I walk from the kitchen to the bathroom.

I’m thankful I’m not locked in a space where violence is probable.

I’m thankful I don’t have to wait to use the phone or for my medication.

I’m thankful my toilet has a seat and my toilet paper is two ply.

I’m thankful my juice doesn’t come in a foil topped cup.

I’m thankful I can see and manipulate my food before it is cooked.

I’m thankful I don’t have to rely as much on memories.

I’m thankful getting out of bed doesn’t involve the person on the bunk below.

I’m thankful the uniforms I encounter are from Tim Horton’s

I’m thankful that when I go beyond the walls of my home I am not handcuffed or shackled.

I’m thankful people don’t work shifts to watch me.

I’m thankful I can sleep with someone in my bed and my dog beside it.

I’m thankful I have a door people can knock on.

I’m thankful I don’t have to sign in and out or carry a notebook to record where I am.

I’m thankful anniversaries don’t involve the Ontario Review Board.

I’m thankful I can sit in the front seat when I go places.

I’m thankful you finished reading my thankful list.

The Year is 2012

I am my ideal body weight so I must be ideal.

We shop at “Forever 21” because no one wants to be 12 any more than they want to be 40.

We consider baldness bad unless it is self inflicted in which case it’s hip.

We are born with breasts, yet we buy them.

We throw away our boots because all of a sudden it’s fashionable to wear something a rattlesnake would pop a vertebrae trying to bite above.

We leave factory stickers on hats because some popular hipster was too lazy to pull them off.

We build houses with 3 garages and 4 bathrooms for two cars and three rectums.

We have walk in closets but never step foot in our neighbour’s living room.

We wear clothes emblazoned with the name of the school, store or business we purchase from without credit for advertising.

We pull out carpets and counter-tops so we can rip oak and granite from the earth.

We wet ourselves when we see Justin Bieber on the street while we pass each other by without a nod with ear buds blaring “Baby”.

We have 40 flavours of salad dressing while billions don’t have two carrots to rub together.

We gel, spray, condition, tease, curl, shampoo and massage something that is dead while our partners live and breath next to us without notice.

We build cars that can go over 200 kilometers per hour weather permitting.

We look up to sports, MTV and Hollywood stars but fail to notice the real ones.

We drill wells for oil but seldom water.

We practice democracy on American Idol but fail to notice it’s demise elsewhere.

We have at least seven banks you can cash a cheque at and only one for food.

Only the crap you don’t need comes on sale.

Why is my surface considered my substance?