wednesday was samba night again at cafe laguardia. the last time i was there was one month earlier, for my birthday dinner. this time, we sat in the bar, drank some very strong caipirinhas, and listened to live bossa nova, although i can't remember the name of the trio that plays each month.
it was nice to visit a place and make it without smoking. especially the places you remember sititing and having a smoke, those are the times i find it hardest. but, on the flip side, it's rewarding when you can make it through the evening. granted, i was thinking about it, and talked about wanting one with my roommate, who is still a smoker. and, chicago is definitely a city that smokes, for awhile at least, as no one wants to pass a no-smoking ordinace quite yet.
this weekend, i get to see my nephew again. the hayes family always has a big golf outing over labor day weekend, and a nice BBQ afterwards. after that, looks like i'll be shipping out to la-la land for work next week. i hope i'm back to see the finals of the us open, but something tells me i better not plan on it. thank god for TIVO!
i made it through the 1st few days - when the physical addiction subsides - fairly easily, as i was hopped up on vicodin and couldn't even think of a cigarette. thanks wisdom teeth! the last few days have been an exercise in strong will. i had a pretty good idea of how stubborn i can be, and this just goes to show, when i put my mind to something, i usually do fairly well. (it's the "putting my mind" to something that i usually slack on). while one week is still pretty short, and a relapse can be lurking around any corner, it's still longer than i've EVER gone in 10 years of being a smoker.
i've got numerous wagers going, all to help reinforce that this is the best decision for me, and no use turning back. i still see cigarettes EVERYWHERE, out socially, going to / from work, as chicago is a very smoke-friendly city. it unites people, brings them together, breaks down barriers.
and, this is where it's hardest to process: i was part of that community for just about 10 years! it became an offering to the guys on the street - shit, if i didn't have a quarter, i ALWAYS had a cig to spare and would pass them out freely....you'd walk out of a building, light up, nod to the person already there smoking. you'd bum lighters, smokes and small conversation from every walk of life, because just about every type of person is out there puffing away. from the little grandmothers with hacking coughs you wouldn't believe, to the young, old and all ages in between. the rich, the poor, the good guys and bad guys.
but, now, i just walk by and think that while i've lost one community, i've found another.