I hate the cold. I avoid it like the plague. In my opinion nothing good ever came from the cold. Oh, let me guess, you’re going to say snow. Snow is cool to look at, is cool to be around for maybe an hour, maybe, and then it’s just a logistical nightmare on top of a disgusting sludgy mess. Call me a cynic but it’s been particularly cold this past winter down here in Central-friggin-Texas, so my already higher than average hatred for the cool months is exaggerated by new memories of frigid misery. Thankfully, I don’t really have to spend more time in the cold than is absolutely necessary. I’m blessed with central heating, enough jackets to warm an army, and a job that shuts down once the temperature drops below freezing. Probably the biggest thing I’m blessed with during the wintertime is that I don’t smoke. Nothing makes me happier that I don’t smoke than when it’s cold.
I’m already pretty happy I don’t smoke during the other three seasons. I’m more reckless with my money than a kid with tickets at Chuck E. Cheese. I don’t need involuntary expenses like cigarettes on my ledger. Plus, cigarettes leave a big ass paper trail. I can just imagine how even more cluttered my life would be with cigarette boxes and butts and wrappers tailing behind me, getting lost in my house and car like some sort of nicotine trail of crumbs. Finally, I’m too forgetful to smoke. Every day I forget something essential that I should have done, no matter how many times I pound it into my head or tell myself not to forget or, ashamedly, write it down. If I smoked I’d be great at smoking and terrible at everything else. I’d probably forget how to tie my shoes because all my little ant brain could focus on is ripping heaters.
More than all those valid, really solid reasons it’s a blessing I don’t smoke, I’m glad I don’t because there’s no way I could be a smoker in wintertime. Every winter I see people crack their doors and windows and illuminate the frozen landscape with the glow of a cig so they can get their fix before they get frostbite. I remember being a kid and watching my mom bundle up so she could crack the door to the garage and smoke exactly as much as it took to satisfy a craving, regardless how cold it was. This morning when I went to let the dog out one of my neighbors was hunched on his patio ripping a cig looking colder and more miserable than a Kulak trekking Siberia. I couldn’t do it. I’d like to think I’d either be strong enough to get over the cold or strong enough to get over the nicotine addiction but I know myself too well. I’m too weak to beat the craving, too weak to get used to the cold. I’d either wind up one of the masses of frigid fiends shivering against a wall with their back to the wind or I’d become an indoor smoker, purchasing four figures worth of air filtration so I could get my smokes without my apartment management finding out and evicting my ass.
I don’t want y’all to think I’m writing this to shit on smokers. Plenty of my friends and family smoke. I’ve watched them try to quit, I’ve listened to them describe the cravings, I know none of the jacketed, hooded smokers shivering worse than a shorn sheep on an ice block are there by choice. Take one look at their faces scrunched like they’re trying to read the dictionary from a mile away and you know if they had their way they wouldn’t be out there. I’m just thanking God that out of all the stuff I’m addicted to to various degrees, whether it’s my phone, or social media, or spending, it can all be satisfied within the comfort of insulation and central heating. I’m glad I don’t smoke, but nothing makes me happier I don’t smoke than when it’s cold.