I’ve been reading Dave Eggars’ latest book, You Shall Know Our Velocity. I started it sometime ago, put it down and then started over again. I was only 28 pages in, so I didn’t feel like starting over was unreasonable. Will, one of the two main characters in the book has these conversations with himself. I suppose everyone has conversations with themselves.
I had just finished, or was finishing the last cigarette in a pack.
– You know these things are going to kill you.
– Yeah, thanks dad.
– Hey, dont be an asshole. Im just trying to look out for you.
– I really appreciate it.
– You’re kind of in denial, eh?
– No. I know these things are going to kill me. Sometimes I even think that maybe they are already killing me. I get mad at myself for allowing myself to become addicted again. I want to blame someone else for it.
– You’ve got no one to blame but yourself.
– Yeah, I know. I’ve thought about it though. I can trace it back to dating someone who smoked and instead of being bothered by it, I just smoked with her. You know, so it didn’t taste so bad when I kissed her.
– That’s kind of pathetic.
– Yeah, but she was pretty hot and I still think smoking looks sexy.
– But you quit smoking cold turkey several years ago. Why would you think you wouldn’t become addicted again?
– I didn’t give it much thought really. I think I smoke because I’m at home all the time. If I had a 9 to 5 and I had to actually make an effort to smoke, I don’t think I would smoke as much as I do now.
– You give it plenty of thought. You’re lying.
– Well, yeah, now I give it plenty of thought. The sore throat I have could be throat cancer.
– I think you’re being a little dramatic.
– I know, but it’s crossed my mind.
– So what’s going to happen when you finish that last cigarette in your pack?
– The yellow pack screaming at me right now?
– Yeah, that one.
– I’ll quit smoking.
– For good?
– I don’t know. Probably not.
– You’re going to die.
– I know.
– That’s a rough way to go.
– I know. We’ve been through this before.
– We’ll probably go through it again. I just hope you don’t keep struggling with it. Make the decision and stick to it.
– I have every intention of that, but I like to smoke.
– You like to stink?
– No. I just said I like to smoke.
– Smoking stinks. Your office smells like a fucking ashtray.
– I’m going to have a cigarette.
– It’s the last one in the pack. How long do you figure it’ll be until you buy another one?
– I dont know.
– I bet you buy one tomorrow.