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Alanis, You’re Singing My Song

While I was growing up, all the important men in my life were smokers; my late babysitter who was affectionately called my other father, my late grandfather and most importantly of all, my dad. Even as a child, I loved the way the tobacco smells like as they light up and the scent of the first puff of smoke was heavenly. Of course, they’d never let me have a puff so it wasn’t that great of a surprise that to satisfy my curiosity, I picked up smoking too though I did it behind their backs. God forbid their illusion of their sweet, little first born be shattered by a loud, obnoxious, smoking bitch telling off-colour jokes with relish.

I was a sporadic social smoker and I enjoyed every single stick I had. I loved the way the smoke filled my lungs, the way my fingers smelled (that always reminded me of my dad) and the way I felt afterwards. It was only after I realised the correlation between the smokes and my acne (more smokes = more pimples) that I stopped.

It’s been a many years since the last stick and I’m keeping it that way. This is not to say that I don’t crave it at all. There are times when the cravings get really bad , usually when I’ve been having a bad day or I’m feeling depressed. It’s hard work not giving in to the temptation as I know that once I start, I’ll be chain smoking until my hands start shaking too much that I can’t light the next stick from the amount of nicotine, tar and other chemicals I’ve inhaled.

It’s ironic that after being a former smoker for so many years, I’ve developed an aversion to cigarette smoke. I’d develop this itch in my throat and can’t help but cough until I choke. It’s worse in the morning when I have yet to fill my lungs with the polluted air from the construction sites and the big roads I have to pass to get to the office. I absolutely hate it now when I walk into a puff of smoke. It makes me want to jam that stick up the person’s nose and see how they like having that stuff up their nose. I feel like such a hypocrite being one of those people not that long ago but that’s how it is. I can’t stand the smoke now and I’m forever grateful that my dad decided to quit smoking a few years back. At least I don’t have to endure the smoke torture at home.

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The Class of 1993

Logging on to Friendster, I found a message in my in box, inviting me to a gathering for my primary 6 class. Part of me is more than excited to be able to meet with these people again. The last time I saw all of them together was more than a decade ago when we went back to take out PSLE results.

The other part of me is reluctant and loathe the prospect of meeting them. This is more to my own insecurities than anything else. Most of these people are smart and successful. Some of them are married with their own families. Some of them grew up to be really pretty and very good looking. It just makes me feel insecure about my life. Silly and illogical, I know but I can’t seem to help it even though I’m not even sure if the gathering is really going to happen.

Looking through the pictures that they posted up and going through their connections, the memories of those times we had a class came trickling back. The friends, the petty disagreements, the fights and the crushes. Oh my, the crushes. The bitter sweet memories of the first boy I liked. The subsequent boys were just like him until I met the one that broke the mold (*waves* Hi L!) but I digress.

Anyway, if the gathering does come through, I think I just suck it up and attend. When else am I going to meet up with them and get reacquainted. It’ll be a good networking meeting. One of them might open up new possibilities that’ll get me out of the rut that I’m in.