Message modified by board administrator July 7, 2009, 3:05 am
By M G F (Marcus' Girlfriend)
Greetings. Iím Marcusí girlfriend. Since I used ďMGFĒ in our joint post, Iíll continue to use it. Please note that I am an intensely private person and am not all that active on the Internet, so I may not participate that much in this forum. Please donít take offense if I donít reply. I sort of feel like Iíve already been introduced to the group, so I donít know what path this introduction will take. Letís find out, shall we?
I am a 36 years old and, like Marcus, started smoking when I was 11 years old. I had always been curious about smoking. Most of the adults in my life were smokers. None of them ever encouraged me to smoke, but I never heard anyone talk about quitting. Smoking was simply something that some people did, that was all. Well, not quite. This was the 1980ís and I was surrounded with anti-smoking literature and propaganda. I decided to try smoking to see what it was like. I had been taught in school that the first time a person smoked, she would become violently ill. This was one of the things they pointed to as evidence that smoking was an unnatural and evil thing to do. But I wanted to learn what smoking was like, so I decided that I would get sick and keep trying it until my body was used to it. I knew from the anti-smoking filmstrips and lectures in school that a smoker had to inhale in order for the smoke to get in her lungs. This was pointed to as evidence that smokers were somehow stupid because they were putting smoke into their lungs on purpose. In a sense, school taught me how to smoke, or at least gave me the instruction I needed to get started.
I purchased a pack of Marlboro Reds (my brand to this day) from an unobserved vending machine and set about my adventure. ďViolently illĒ does not begin to describe my bodyís reaction. I lit up, and promptly ejected the smoke without inhaling. It was the foulest thing I had ever tasted. I thought about all the ads I had seen touting the great taste of different brands and took another shallow drag and inhaled. That drag prompted a bout of coughing and tears in my eyes. I decided that I needed more air with the smoke, so when I inhaled my next drag I gulped in a bunch of air and did not cough as much. That was when I started getting dizzy. I waited until it had mostly passed and took another drag. The smoke flowed easily through my throat and into my lungs. I now know it was because the first two drags had paralyzed my respiratory systemís natural defenses. At the time, I was just grateful and, for a split second, thought I might be the exception and not get sick. I began throwing up and continued to do so until I was in dry heaves. My tender body had made it clear that it did not like what I was doing. It was a message I thankfully chose to ignore. Persistent little b###h that I was, I waited a few hours and tried it again. My head was swimming after the first drag, but I was almost finished with the cigarette before my stomach turned inside out. That was the last time I became sick from smoking.
I spent the rest of the week smoking two cigarettes a day. One was right after I got home from school. The other was right before my parents came home from work. The amount I smoked slowly increased over the next few years and by the time I was 13 or 14, when most of my friends were starting to experiment with smoking, I was consuming a couple of packs a week. It wasnít a lot, but I was a seasoned, addicted smoker. I came out as a smoker gradually and it wasnít until my very late teens that I told my parents, who told me they had wondered when I would get tired of hiding it.
For my first few years as a smoker, I enjoyed the ďdirty little secretĒ aspect of it. I was this cute little girl nobody suspected of being a smoker. As Marcus has commented before, ďSo clean on the outside, so dirty on the inside.Ē I enjoyed sitting in my room knowing that I was doing something no one would approve of. I enjoyed going through the day knowing that when I got home I would get to resume what I now know was my first love affair. I also liked the fact that I was gambling with my life. I had always been a risk taker and had the banged up knees and elbows to prove it. I was somewhat conscious of the fact that as a smoker, I was taking the ultimate risk. I have never responded well to arbitrary authority and I really liked the fact that I was telling the world to ď#### off.Ē Even at that young age, I enjoyed the sensual act of smoking. . . the feel of the cigarette between my lips, drawing the smoke into my mouth and letting my lungs expand and strain as I pulled the smoke into them, and then releasing it. . . speculating about what it had left behind. There was also a maturation aspect to my enjoying smoking. I developed physically more quickly than most other girls and was more aware of my body than my friends. Smoking added to that awareness. Now I know that when I started smoking my lungs development slowed and eventually ceased before it normally would; and I am fascinated by the idea that Iím breathing with the blackened lungs of a pre-teen. It wasnít until I was in my mid-teens that I noticed that I didnít have the same stamina as non-smokers and many of my smoking friends. I didnít like the effect, but I loved the cause and the fact that being more easily winded and more deeply addicted than my friends marked me as a dedicated smoker. My awareness of the harm Iím doing has always enhanced the experience.
I did not intend to become a heavy smoker, it just happened and I accepted it. I know that my lungs and Marcusí are in worse condition than other smokers our age, because we started when we were young and because we smoke more than most people our age. I perhaps see this more vividly than others because of my work and training. Iíll say more about that in a moment. I became a nurse because I am a compassionate person, enjoy caring for people, and I am fascinated by the human body. I will admit that I like the superficial irony of a highly trained medical professional also deliberately engaging in seriously unhealthy behavior. When I listen to a patientís lungs, I know without asking if he or she is a smoker. Depending on the personís age, I can often make a pretty accurate estimate of how many pack years and whether they started smoking as a pre-teen, teen, or in their twenties. Healing delights me. Watching a patient recover from an illness, injury, surgery, what have you, gives me a tremendous amount of satisfaction. Treating patients with smoking related conditions has the added reward for me that comes from knowing that Every cigarette I smoke increases the risk that I will someday be in their position. I donít want to be, but taking the risk is a major turn-on. Experiencing Marcusí and my bodies deal with our destructive behavior is also rewarding for me. When I put my head to his chest in the night and hear the loose rattle that wasnít there when we went to bed, I am pleased to know that it is because his lungs are trying to clean themselves. When I wake and have to cough forcefully several times over a period of several minutes, I am pleased to note that my body is as relentless in trying to repair the damage as I am in inflicting it. I am tantalized when I notice that because of his greater number of pack years, the same physical activity will sometimes leave Marcus more out of breath than me or he will take longer to recover than I do. The human body is a fascinating and remarkable organism; and part of my exploration of it is damaging to it. Even though I do not have a death wish, I enjoy being alive Ė living! Ė part of that enjoyment is something that will probably shorten my life, or render me debilitated. It is a complex issue with many layers to explore. I donít want to leave the impression that the dark and sensual/sexual aspects of smoking is all I enjoy about it. Like most smokers, I fundamentally enjoy the act , the effect of nicotine on my body, and the relief that satisfying my addiction brings.
I think that part of the reason Marcus is the most physically, mentally, and emotionally satisfying lover I have ever had goes beyond his ability to meet my physical demands (And my ability to meet his as well, letís be fair.) and our shared adventurous curiosity It goes beyond the fact that we are very much in love. Part of it is that we share a dark attraction to smoking that is most definitely sensual and sexual in nature. I know that I can arouse him by the way I smoke. He knows that he can do the same for me. As we said, we share a lover.
Responses are not allowed!