Positive Cynicism – Secondhand smoker’s cough

Aaron Davis

Aaron R. Davis

Let’s say that I invited you over to my home for a meal and to visit. And let’s say further that while we were engaged in conversation over dessert, our bellies nourished and content with a warm lunch, I whipped out my dick and started masturbating while we were talking. Sure, I may notice that you’re not exactly comfortable — hell, maybe it’s making you sick — but I just keep going because, hey, it’s not like I can control this. I’m addicted to it. If I don’t stroke up that intense feeling several times a day, I start to get antsy and anxious. I just need to do it, and since you’re very understanding, I know you’ll want me to feel better. Even if you get a little splattered in the process.

This disgusting analogy describes basically how I feel when I spend time in the house of someone who smokes.

My mother-in-law smokes. That’s the barest, most meager term for what she does. That’s a pretty vague term for what I see in practice, though. In practice, it’s like watching a person who seems to think that if they go for three whole minutes without dragging on a cigarette, they’re going to somehow cease to exist.

Now, if you’re a smoker, I really don’t care. I really don’t understand what the need is to breathe in smoke and hold it in your lungs, and I’m speaking as someone who used to smoke. I smoked on and off from the ages of 15 to 26, and I’m still not a hundred percent sure why. Because I’ve been around cigarette smokers all of my life, and I never once smelled it and thought to myself, That seems like a powerfully fine thing to do. I must attempt this at my earliest convenience.

Seriously, smoke all you want. Or need to. Just don’t expect me to jump at the opportunity to hang around you all that much.

Back to my mother-in-law. Yesterday, my wife and I were at her house for a lunch, and she smoked pretty much every moment when she wasn’t eating, We’re hardly ever over there, and she’s always asking us to come over, so we finally did, and it’s not like I had a bad time. We drank coffee, we ate lasagna, there was cake. But I have this problem where I can never truly relax in someone else’s home. I’m always tense. I’m doubly tense when I’m at my mother-in-law’s because she used to not treat me very well 18 years ago, so I’ve never been completely comfortable around her. She has this idea of me that’s how I was when I was 18, so I just smile through it and count the hours until I’m finally back in the car. I just chalk it up to one of the things you have to do as a husband.

So added to this undertone of constant tension (and something like eight cups of coffee) is the constant smoke. My mother-in-law smokes like a factory making terrible jokes at the expense of men all day.

I don’t really say anything about it. I don’t want to hear all the talk about addiction and what people should be comfortable to do in their own homes and whatever. I certainly don’t want to talk about heart disease and lung cancer, because I’m not one of those people who gets all moral about the decisions someone else makes when it comes to what to put in their body (at my weight class, that’d be pretty hypocritical). But when it comes right down to it, cigarette smoke is pretty disgusting and I really don’t want to be exposed to it.

When I came home last night and sat at my computer (my constant perch), I realized I was still smelling smoke, and it was still burning my nose. And it was, of course, because I was still wearing the shirt I had worn to her house. Just being around this woman for an afternoon had permeated the clothes I was wearing with the smell of it. I was stained with it. I took my shirt off and put it with my dirty clothes, but I could still smell it because it was in my hair. And just smelling it was, frankly, making me feel sick and weirdly depressed. After all of that coffee and all of that tension, I felt like I had been physically active all day long. I was exhausted. But the smell of cigarettes added to that exhaustion an inability to breathe.

See, I use a CPAP machine to help me breathe at night. I have sleep apnea. I know it’s become a bit fashionable in pop culture to laugh at how unsexy and unmanly being hooked up to a CPAP machine is, but I figure it’s a hell of a lot sexier than dying in your sleep simply because you have a condition that makes you stop breathing at night. It’s supposed to work by pushing air into your lungs. But that doesn’t work when both of your nostrils have become plugged up as a defensive reaction to the constant smell of cigarette smoke. So add to that exhaustion the effects of nearly suffocating in my sleep several times last night. At this point, I feel like I’m going to spend all day recovering from yesterday. I’m nervous, tired and cranky. And I’m just going to go ahead and attribute that to spending an afternoon with a woman who smokes so much that she has given me objects sealed in airtight plastic that smelled like cigarette smoke on the inside.

I’m sorry, but I’m not going to your house if you smoke. I’m just not doing it. Yes, yes, you have the right to smoke if you want to, and you should be able to do it in your own home if that’s what you choose to do. But that doesn’t mean I have to put up with it. I’m making a choice of my own, and it’s a choice not to be around something that makes me feel sick to the point where I get four hours of sleep if I’m lucky. Please stop inviting me over only to make me ill.

I’m not going to invite you over and then masturbate in front of you, even though I love masturbating. It’s unpleasant, it’s rude and it’s disgusting, and that’s if you do it right. At the very, very least it would be impolite to subject you to it. I like to think being able to control myself is part of being a considerate host.

In short, keep it out of my hair and I’ll keep it off your blouse.

Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at samuraifrog@yahoo.com

  1. Jane July 4, 2012
  2. Manuel Sommers December 8, 2013

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