Yesterday, I had one of those marathon(g) conversations with my dear friend J who you may remember first introduced me to Chantix about a year ago. We were talking about one of our hundred topics (from work stuff to the acceptable level of gin and tonic consumption after a bad day/week at work to travel to diet to relationships to money to general health to family to tree huggers vs. rednecks and all kinds of other stuff), and somewhere in there at one point he just paused and said:
"Oh my God, Mags, I'm so glad we don't smoke anymore."
It's almost funny, considering how much smoking was a part of our bond and was just what we did and who we were individually and in our friendship. Smoking is how we met right before Japan, it's what we did during those endless conversations into the wee hours once in Japan (we actually lived about an hour or more apart and didn't see each other face to face as much). Every experience together in every place we ever were together - Japan, Singapore, Chicago, Malaysia, Las Vegas, we've gotten around and spread our love all over the place - enjoying a smoke together was part of our experience. Smoking seemed as much an integral ingredient of our friendship as f-bombs, politically (extremely) incorrect comments, the gift of gab to talk a chicken off the bone, and the ability to remain so close already 13 years later (wow). We both really enjoyed smoking. No, you don't understand, we both *really* and *seriously* very much loved smoking. Separately. Together. Both.
As much as smoking is a part of some of our favorite memories in our friendship, I'm content, ready even, today, to let the smoking aspect be one of those things of the past from our "wilder and crazier days," back when we were also content to stay in backpacker places where elevators routinely lost power and got stuck mid-floor for several dark and hot minutes or in a beach hut where toilets required a bucket of water to flush (as I found out the, um, embarrassing "OK, now what do I do about this turd in the toilet" kind of way). Some things are far better kept as awesome memories to cherish forever than they would be to actually relive, and, so, even if smoking used to be a part of our friendship, and even if it sometimes seemed odd to imagine there'd come a day either of us would say stuff like this, I agree completely:
"Oh my God, my dear friend J, I'm so glad we don't smoke anymore."