I quit smoking ten years ago. It was the best decision I ever made in my life. I haven’t felt so awful as I did the day after I quit but I’ve never felt better sense. I desperately wanted to live free of thoughts of tobacco, and that had proved fairly easy to do until this fall. A neighbor down the hall moved in and quickly announced himself as a heavy smoker. Now I have to deal with the horrible stench of his cigarettes drifting down the hallway and into my room. I really can’t stand the smell, because it isn’t even the fresh smell of smoking tobacco. All you get is this still tank after smell of old stale tobacco. It’s enough to make one sick. I find it nauseating, but at the same time it reminds me of when I used to smoke and fills me with temptation.

I didn’t think I would succumb, but then one night a week ago I knocked on his door and instead of asking him to open a window, I asked him for a cigarette. He happily handed me one and lit it up for me. I wandered back to my room. I smoked every last millimeter of that cigarette, and felt like I was going to puke. I realized that I couldn’t live with this guy down the hall. I had gone too long to fall off the wagon again. Smoking nearly killed me 10 years ago in a horrible coughing fit. A piece of inflamed tissue broke off of a clot in my windpipe. That sort of thing only happens to smokers. Luckily I was able to spit out the remnants, and live another day. When I finally quit smoking I felt like I had unchained shackles that had been round me since I was a teenager.

Now I have to find houses to rent that are far enough away from smokers that I won’t have to smell and as they indulge. I hope that when I find the right house and will just call out to me that there are no smokers around. As there is no local law against smoking I’m just going to take my chances. Until the law catches up with reality.