Many people don't know this because I don't advertise it. I've never allowed a photo to be taken of me while holding one, so it's not public knowledge, but I might as well share the fact that I'm an occasional smoker.
It seems that I want one the most when I've had a few drinks or I'm not feeling well. I'm so sunburned right now from this past weekend at the Long Beach Flugtag with the "Out and About with Roger Martin" TV crew that I've not been feeling at my very best. I even ended up with sun poisoning, also called Photodermatitis, which is where the UV rays have caused toxins to form in my blood stream.
Yesterday on my way to work I grew so disoriented and dizzy on my way in to work that I completely missed my exit after 8 months of driving the same route on average 6 days a week. By the time I parked my car and walked to my office, I was nauseous as well as dizzy. Anyone that's ever had a bad hangover knows this is a very nasty combination. The fever on top of it all made me feel worse than if I had contracted Swine Flu. Somehow I suffered through the pain and managed to last a full 8 hour shift at work before going home and nearly taking a bath in Aloe gel.
As I went for a cigarette today, I tried to find somewhere out of sight but also in the shade so that the sunburn under my uniform shirt wouldn't feel the scorching heat through the layers, causing more pain. There aren't many "out of the way" places that happen to have shade, so it seemed at first like a futile mission. I had all but given up on having that nasty bad habit that I've decided to drop anyway when I saw it.
Durring the rainy season I would often come to work sick beyond anyone's wildest imagination. I would have raging high fevers and a full work load on my plate. I would be stressed out beyond belief at what I needed to get done for the day and not really knowing where to start. Each time I got to the point where I thougth I would pull my hair out until I was bald, I would go for a walk around the center with one cigarette in my jacket pocket. There's one spot near the very back of the building that has a recessed doorway that nobody ever uses. In the pouring rain, I would duck into that doorway for my half cigarette, take a few moments for myself to just relax, and then when I felt like the stress was gone and my fever had cooled off a bit from the rain, I would continue on my way.
There it was, that one tiny spot of shade in the entire place that was safe to conceal myself durring a brief break. I stumbled my way over to the door way and stepped inside. The shade still wasn't exactly cool, but it was better than the sun that had been beating down on my covered shoulders and back.
I didnt' get very far into my cigarette when I decided I was done with it. I put the remainder out, threw it into the trash bin, and went straight back to work.
I've not spent very much time in that spot, even combining all of the times I've needed a sheltered place for that bad habit, but I've been there in the sunshine and rain. I've been there on good days and bad. I've been there ill and well. It's always been there for me like an old friend I don't visit very often.
Some things shouldn't ever be taken for granted - like sunshine and rain.