The Depths of Stupidity

August 21, 2011

Apparently, I used to have a blog on Blogspot. I wrote two entries in spring of 2008 and then forgot about it. One of them is pretty good. It’s about going back to Phoenix after my first year in Madrid, and re-encountering my ex-girlfriend, who was (and still is) dating an angry lesbian who thinks she’s the next Ani DiFranco. Anyway, here’s the story:

The Depths of Stupidity

A lot can change in nine months.

Now Sylvia was smoking. In fact, a lot of my friends had started smoking since I’d been away.

They’d always said that smoking was a total waste. “You spend all your money on cigarettes, and in the end it doesn’t even fuck you up.” They’d always said it with feeling, so I believed they really meant it.

And now, my first day back, Sylvia is congratulating herself on going thirteen hours without a cigarette.

She started smoking in order to convince her new girlfriend Angela to stop. The logic was a bit lost on me. I guess if Angela saw Sylvia slowly killing herself with carcinogens, she would have to come face to face with the error of her own ways. And then they would both stop smoking together.

Even the best laid plans fail. Within three weeks, they were both furious smokers. And within four weeks, Sylvia was trying to quit on her own, because she was broke enough as it was.

Ten minutes after she congratulates herself on her first thirteen smoke-free hours, Sylvia is face down on the bed, pounding her fists on the pillow, and moaning, “I would kill for just, like, two drags on a cigarette.”

I try to calm her down. I convince her to come to the grocery store with me. While I get some pasta, she can bum a cigarette in the parking lot.

I’m just back from Europe, and haven’t yet re-assimilated the emptiness in Phoenix. In the end, there’s nobody in the parking lot to bum cigarettes off of. I get the pasta anyway, and we walk back to the apartment.

While I check the mailbox, Sylvia is picking around for butts in the ashtray. When she finds one with a couple drags left on it, she pulls out her lighter. A wave of relief starts to spread across her face.

Suddenly she gags. Her mouth twists in disgust. “Oh Jesus!” she says. “Fucking gross!”

She tosses the butt on the ground disdainfully and stomps it out.

“Fucking gross!” she repeats. “It’s a Marlboro!”

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About the Author Daniel

How did I end up in Spain? Why am I still here almost 20 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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