By Christopher Siena, TM
I am a smoker. I started smoking when I was 13. Back then cigarettes tasted bitter but the idea of breathing tobacco in and out of your lungs is electrifying. Those were the days of innocence where life is perfect and love is forever. Then it hit me. I was rushed to the hospital due to my smoking habit. I sweared on my hospital bed that I wouldn’t smoke again.
But promises are made to be broken. When I entered college, almost everyone smoked, so I did. At that time, tobacco tasted like paper – empty and unappealing. So were my first subjects – math, social studies and religion. It was so easy, I never studied nor reviewed. Instead, I indulged myself to travel parties and occasional drunkenness. Life was perfect and the taste was addicting. Soon, my vices led me to different brands of expensive cigarettes – DJ Mix, West, West Ice and my favorite, Gudang Garam.
As I squandered my allowance, I met my first love. She had intoxicating looks, engaging features and addicting properties. We often spend time traveling, drinking and whispering sweet nothings. We were soul-mates and it was as if our love would live forever. Cigarettes tasted like sugar and I was totally hooked. My cravings became worse and worse. I started failing subjects. I knew I had to withdraw. And so I did. I broke up with her. I stopped smoking.
But my withdrawal was short-lived. I missed her so much that I started to smoke again. I couldn’t help it. By then, I started smoking Gudang Garam in excess amounts. The taste was sweet but strong. The smell was distinct and ambiguous – a few friends like it, most of them don’t.
It was too addicting and I began to dig deeper into addiction. I went on a depressive state and at my lowest, I met my 2nd love. She was irresistible. Like me she had an insatiable appetite for romance and intimacy. I knew our relationship wouldn’t go for long. Some people don’t want us to be together plus she had a boyfriend. Yes, I knew it wasn’t right but it felt so good. I couldn’t resist. True enough, we broke up. My life went tumbling down and I ended up with nothing… nothing but a broken heart and a pair of damaged lungs.
Up to now, I still smoke. And when I do, I reminisce. I look at everything that has come and gone like the smoke that comes in and out of my lungs. I learned that all good things have to end but what’s important is that we breathe best out of it. We may love it as much as we hate it but nevertheless, we desire it as if it was everything. That’s life. At least now I know that what the label meant when it said: Cigarettes smoking is dangerous to your health.
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