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Jane's Point of View
 Author: Lurknomore June 2, 2005 at 16:14:11 
    I wake up coughing like my lungs are trying to rip themselves out of my body. Who could blame them after all Iíve put them through? Fortunately, theyíre too weak to do it, either that or too weighted down with all the tar that is no doubt saturating them. I gasp and gasp, trying to catch my breath, but as always itís no use. It seems like Iím living in a constant state of oxygen deprivation these days. I force myself to sit up. My breasts slide down my chest and rest on my little potbelly that I hate so much. Moving is sheer agony: Iím so winded and so out of shape that I can barely manage it at all. But Iíve got to keep going: I need a cigarette. Hell, I need ten cigarettes. Iím starving for my nicotine fix, and Iíll push myself through anything to get it. Iím miserable, desperateómy heart is hammering away like a jackhammer and I can feel my body shaking. I manage to swing my legs off the bed and try to stand up. I have to try three times before I manage to rock myself up into a standing position. My flabby legs are barely strong enough to support me and I totter over to the dresser drawers and lean on it for support while I gasp for air. I force myself to stop coughing long enough to get a fresh cigarette out of the carton that is waiting there. Marlboro Redsónice and strong with an easy filter to draw through. These are my favorites. With a trembling hand I flick the lighter and draw air into my abused lungs as hard as I can. Itís tough, and I can hear myself wheeze as I do it, but that first shot of smoke makes living like this all worth it. I stand, braced against the dresser for a minute, taking panting drags of my cigarette for a moment. I grab several packs and force myself back to the bed. Iím coughing now, my poor lungs trying to get rid of all the tar and smoke Iím putting into them, but I win this contest and force them to keep breathing in the rich white smoke that makes life worth living. Moving around always gets me coughing and so I do it as little as possible. I know I should at least try to get some exercise to counteract all the smoking I do, but its impossible. Itís too hard and so Iíve resigned myself to just not being in very good shape. Thatís the toughest part to deal with, losing my figure. I used to have a pretty nice body, but I just havenít maintained it. I still think I look pretty good when I get all dressed upóI can hide what my laziness has done to me to some extent, but I wonít be able to for much longer. I know I should eat better too, but salad and fruit just donít seem to have any taste and fast food is just so convenient, what with the drive-thru and all. Not that I eat all that much, but unless I figure out a way to make coughing burn calories, I pretty much have to say that I donít do anything at all..
I manage to get myself turned over onto my back. This is my favorite position these days. Thereís no effort involved and Iím not bent in the middle like when Iím sitting. I hate that for a few reasons. One, itís a bit harder to breathe and two, thatís when you can really see my little belly. I wear a lot of corsets and other form accentuating clothes, but they can only do so much. When I sit up, it just seems like Iím coughing all the time, which makes it harder to smoke, and I smoke a LOT! In fact, as soon as I get done lighting my second cigarette off the butt of my first Iím going to start setting up my multiple holder. Itís a pain and I donít like using it in public, but itís also just the thing to jump start me first thing in the morning. It lets me smoke up to four cigarettes at a time. The pure intensity of the smoke that I get out of it is amazing. I love the thing, but I have to be careful with it: too many hits off it at a time and Iíve got to use my oxygen tank or inhaler just to stay cautious. I know it has something to do with all the carbon monoxide it puts into my body, but what Iím really after is the nicotine and the tar. Yeah, I know, I know, theyíre not good for me either, but they make me FEEL good.
Itíll be an hour or so before Iím ready to begin the ordeal of making myself presentable to the world. If I try to get going to quick in the morning, Iíll just tire myself out with all the coughing. It takes my lungs a while to get used to the idea of another day of smoking and I donít have the luxury of easing them into it. First thing in the morning, Iím always just crazy for a cigarette. Someone who has never experienced the joy of smoking canít possibly understand the intensity of my need and the horrible anxiety and pain of having to go without. Itís pretty rare for me to go for even ten minutes without a cigarette during the day. Usually I just light my next one off the previous one before I butt it out. After twenty minutes Iím a raging bitch; this only makes it worse. When Iím agitated, I always start coughing and my heart starts doing about a million miles an hour. I have to keep my emotions in check, or I just melt down. I try to avoid conflict; Iím just no good at it anymore. Itís hard to yell at someone when you canít catch your breath or you just have to cough. After thirty minutes, Iíd probably be certifiably insane. Iím not saying that Iíd chase somebody down and try to take their cigarettes (who am I kidding? Three steps of running and Iíd be dead), but Iíd certainly do anything they asked. I donít sleep all that well (even with my nicotine patches, I still have to wake up every couple of hours to smoke).
I get my quad holder loaded and use my lighter to light all four cigarettes. Itís tough to draw through four filters like that; on bad days Iíll just break them off, but today I can manage. The nicotine hits my system and makes my whole body tingle. I feel relief as my body finally comes out of whithdrawl and stabilizes. I canít smoke four cigarettes through my quad holder as fast as a single (Once Iím up and Iíve got my cough under control, I can finish a cigarette in about three minutes). It takes me about seven minutes to go through my first quad of the day. The next one will go quicker: my morning cough is settling down into my regular smokerís cough and it makes it a little easier to drag. I debate weather or not to smoke a single while reloading the quad holder, but I decide to do without while I reload. By the time Iíve got the old butts dumped out and the new cigarettes inserted, Iím REALLY ready for next puff. Iíve only had six cigarettes so far today, and I really need a half a pack just to get myself started. I smoke this quad down rapidly. There is so much carbon monoxide in my blood it can hardly carry any oxygen to my body. I have to pant, which I hate, itís too much effort and this early in the morning it just sets of my coughing again. I should know better. I need to pace myself, but in the mornings my lust for nicotine is so strong it overwhelms my common sense. I suffer through a wracking coughing spell and try to keep my body relaxed. Every time I cough, I can feel my body jiggling, reminding me of how soft Iíve gotten. I donít like the feeling. Not only have I lost the ability to move, Iíve lost the ability to keep myself from moving. Itís just one of the many indignities I have to put up with. I limit myself to single cigarettes for the next forty minutes.
My next task is to shower, which is difficult. Iíve never really mastered the art of smoking in the shower. I always keep on lit in the ashtray outside the shower, but I have to limit myself to a few quick puffs here and there: otherwise the cigarette just gets too wet and goes out. I strip out of my nighty and sit on the toilet while I load up my quad holder. I always try to saturate my body with nicotine any time I have to go without a cigarette for even a few minutes. I down the quad with my usual relish and force myself up and into the shower. I quickly wash my hair, condition it and wash my face. My legs are getting tired and so I sit down on the small ledge in the shower. I can barely fit; my ass has gotten so goddam fat in the last year. It used to be that I seemed to gain all my weight in my chest, but lately its all been going to my gut and ass. I guess I canít blame my ass; all I do is sit on it all day. I shave my legs as quickly as I can: the effort leaves me gasping. I hate bending over in the middle to reach my ankles. My tummy and boobs always block me and push on my lungs. I used to be pretty flexible (hey itís easy to stretch when you donít have much muscle tone, but now its tough to do even that). I try to get done showering as quickly as possible: the humid air is harder to breathe and it seems to loosen up whatever is in my lungs and Iím always hacking away again by the time I get out.
Today is no exception and I can barely get my post shower cigarette lit because of all the coughing Iím doing. Iím motivated though, so somehow I manage. I sit on the toilet again and let the coughing spell run its course while I smoke another cigarette. Eventually Iím able to get up and start doing my hair. I have to be careful with the blowdryer: I donít want to blow ashes everywhere. Once I get my hair perfect (a process that takes twenty minutes and three more cigarettes, I start on my my make-up. I have some anti-wrinkle cream that Iím using. Lately Iíve noticed little lines at the corner of my mouth and around my eyes, so this is another cosmetic fix Iíve become reliant on. Then I put on some moisturizer, a thick coat of base that I blend at the neckline. A touch of powder to get rid of the sheen and Iím ready to do my eyes. First though, I wheeze my way out to grab another pack: my second one is already gone. As Iím opening the pack, my heart flutters alarmingly and I can feel pain shoot down my left arm. This happens all the time, but lately more and more. I briefly think about Megan. I realize now that I probably smoke more than she did (but they arenít cloves, for Godís sake, and I use filters-usually anyway). I probably weigh more than she did too, but she never had my boobs. Still, there are times when I think I can feel every extra pound, every single cigarette Iíve ever smoked sitting right on my heart. Oh well, as long as I donít stress myself out too much, I should be okay. With a flick and a drag, I blow these thoughts away and return to the bathroom to finish my makeupógotta look good, even if I canít feel good.
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