Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Bear with me. I stayed up way too late now because of Neal Stephenson. That bastard wrote a really great book, called Cryptonomicon. It's a page turner, and I can't put it down. It's massive and quite daunting at first though, but once you get into it it's amazing. My friend Steven (who I haven't seen in entirely too long) loves his stuff.

So, I was thinking about my vehement anti-smoking position, regarding a conversation I had with my friend Scott a few weeks ago. My position is that smoking in "the Sacred Presence" i.e. me, is BAD. Uncouth. Profoundly rude.

I admit that my feelings transcend the bounds of rationality at times. I hate cigarettes. My father was a smoker. I think it goes back to the time, I guess I was about 11 or 12 years old, that my father had the heart attack. He drove all the way home from his office in Little Rock to Jacksonville. While he was having the heart attack. And he vomited on himself in the car. When my dad walked in the door, covered in vomit, needless to say, I was a little freaked. The ambulance came and took him away, and I cleaned the vomit out of his car.

He survived the heart attack, and the doctor told him that that was the last cigarette he would ever have. And then, my step-mother, what did she do? She kept smoking. In the same room. With him in the house.

Later, about 5 or 6 years later, my dad died of cancer. Granted, it was stomach cancer, but it was cancer. Did the smoking contribute to it? Who knows? But I do know this, out of all of the factors in our environment that govern whether or not you get cancer, smoking is the one factor that is MOST controllable.

I used to lie awake at night, while my dad was dying. He slept out in the living room, because my step-mother couldn't sleep because he was retching and vomiting from the chemo all night long. My bedroom was about 10 feet away from the recliner where he mostly slept, those two long and all too short months. And his retching kept me up all night long. I can tell you this; cancer is a painful and horrible way to die.

Yes, eating foods high in fat can lead to cancer too. But when you eat a cheeseburger, everyone around you is not forced to ingest second-hand cheeseburger.

I think I'm rambling at this point. Anyway, that's my morality tale/diatribe/rant for the evening. Take it for what it is.


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