Gertrude’s Diary #79 – Smoking

Gertrude's Diary

When I was sixteen I went to a disco at Marist Brother’s school in Parramatta.” It was a simple, elegant affair:” A small auditorium with ugly chairs stacked around the edges, a dee-jay playing Radiators, Angels, and a bit of Bonnie Tyler for the slow dance at the end of the night.

But it’s not the greatest hits of the eighties that I recall most about this evening.”No, what”I recall”most clearly about that night is that it was the”first time that I smoked a cigarette.”

Oh, the disgusting taste!” The head spins!” The nausea!” How could I not be enticed?

Further investigations at home were forthcoming.” I decided to smoke another cigarette”in front of the bathroom mirror.” This was when I learned that it is actually possible for one’s complexion to take on an interesting shade of green.” It’s not just a figure of speech.”

With such a delightful introduction, how could I not be hooked?

Thus began my years in the wilderness of nicotine addiction.” Quaint, old-fashioned experiences like smelling and tasting became old-hat.” I’d never been very good a sitting still, but now instead of keeping my hands busy with such selfish, unhealthy behaviour as sewing or knitting, I was able to spread a delightful pall of smoke through the air with my carefully held, glowing stick of poisonous fumes.

This came to an end recently.” 109 hours ago, to be exact.” Not that I’m counting the minutes or anything.” More like the micro-seconds.

I exaggerate.” I think I’m actually over the worst of the cravings.”And I used my time at work this week to follow up on a few complaints and staff disciplinary matters.” That feeling of psychotic irritability works wonders when one is trying to capture the right note of seriousness.

I’m going to be Mistress of Ceremonies at today’s Frockanalia.” I won’t be enjoying any cooling ales or warming mulled wine:”apparently, I”can’t have a drink without wanting a cigarette.” Alcohol and smokes go together like cancer of the throat and an electro-larynx.

So everyone better pay attention to me, that’s all I’m saying.” I’m not afraid to single people out if they’re talking during my announcements.” And believe me, you do not want the wrath of the recently reformed smoker falling on your head -” I’ll rip it right off your shoulders.

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