Bruno and I went out on Wednesday night to the Luna Lounge for some drinks and chatter. I asked him to go out with me alone, without his lady, Liz, because I wanted some quality time with him. It wasn't until San Francisco, when I hung out with T.Jay and Jenny both separately and as a couple, that I was missing my separate time with Bruno. I'm fond of Liz, too, but I know there's a difference when I hang out with him alone. Also, when I hang out with a couple I almost always gravitate toward the woman. It's an instinctive thing, in some respects, as I almost always feel safer in conversation with women then with men. But also, if I'm going to be completely honest here (and there's no point in lying, is there?), I probably want to make sure I'm not viewed as the kind of woman who only gets along with men.
I know that these two theories don't mesh exactly. Let me take it a step further. I was friends with T.Jay first, and I was friends with Bruno first, before I met either of their girlfriend. I think I felt the need, instantly, to make sure that their girlfriends knew that I want to meet cool people, regardless of their gender. I know I would be curious about my boyfriend's new female friend, but I am admittedly the jealous type. (I'm a Scorpio. What do you want from me?) So, partially, it is out of respect for women everywhere, jealous and non-jealous types alike, that I focus my energy on my boy friend's girlfriends. Fortunately for me, both Jenny and Liz are great, so I got the bonus genuine friendships, too.
So we made plans for Wednesday, and met before 10 to get our drink on. We ran into a couple from my last, last,...wait, do I need to add another "last"? I can't remember. Ah, fuck it....We saw a couple of people from my former job at Funny Garbage, which was nice, like star cartoon guy Dave Savage and the recently fired and recently engaged Maureen, who was wickedly poised about the whole dismissal issue.
Her fiancee, John, was playing in the back performance space, backed by a more than competent group of musicians. Bruno and I hung out for a few songs, but our urge to keep talking overcame us, and since the music was mostly low key, we headed up to the bar. I swear it felt like I hadn't seen him in months, even though I saw him the previous Saturday. It felt nice. He makes me feel at ease, and I can be honest. I like to think my male friends help me to be a better woman, beyond being a better person. Someday my boyfriend will thank them, just like so many of my roomate's girlfriends have thanked me in the past. (Recall that I have known my roommate since he was 15. Somebody had to tell him the importance of oral sex in a relationship.)
Bruno and I discussed the non-smoking thing a bit, because I was craving a cigarette something fierce. I had just stepped down to the 14 mg patch that day, which is probably on par with smoking half a pack a day, when you're accustomed to smoking more than a pack. I'd had some drinks, and I was a little tired from starting my new freelance project.
Working in two offices in one day - one on Wall Street and one in midtown can take a toll on you, even if you're only working less than ten hours in that day. Plus, I have entirely new concepts and content to absorb, and I have to do it in a record amount of time. I'm putting myself through the ringer, and that's not fun.
So combine the alcohol, stress, and fatigue with the lower nicotine intake and you've got one antsy woman craving that burn, oh god, just a touch of that burn, even for a second, in the back of the throat, right there, that buzz, that burn, that moment of in and out and smell and taste, no matter how bad for you it is, just right there, between the fingertips, holding, controlling the only thing that can be conrolled, and then in the mouth, lips wrapped around it, for a second, for a minute, yes, right, there.
Bruno talked me out of it, of course. Bruno doesn't smoke, never has, never will. Once when he was very, very fucked up, the last time I hung out with him one on one, in fact, I saw him take a drag, and I laughed at him. It makes no sense, him smoking. He's smarter than the rest of us.
He told me about his friend, John, who is in his mid thirties, and smoked way longer than I did, who had quit six months ago. John has a baby on the way, and figured it was time. He used the patch, too, and it worked for him.
"So you just stepped down today, right?" he asked.
"Yea, and it sucks."
"OK, well, I can't tell you what to do. You're an adult and you're your own person. But I can tell you what John told me about the whole thing, and he's made it for a while now."
me," I said. I was hungry for support. I try not to be that way, but this week has been rough.
"He said that it was hard when he started, and then he got used to it. And then it was hard when he stepped down, but then he got used to it. And every single time he had to take a new step, it sucked, but by the time he got to the end, he was used to it sucking. When he went off it completely, he felt the same thing as when he put on the patch for the first time. And he made it, and so can you. So if you want to smoke, you can, but why don't you just accept for today that it sucks, and then see how you feel tomorrow, because I'll bet you'll feel a little bit better, and you won't be mad at yourself in the morning."
I am going to reread the above paragraph every day for the next two months, or at least until it stops sucking.