Fall is the best season for smoking. Spring is a close second, but who wants to stand outside with all that mud around? Winter would be ideal if it weren’t so cold all the time. And summer…summer’s just bad for smoking. Smoking should be done in a cool, slightly humid environment, where one’s lungs can savor the smoke without the additional burden of heat and dry air. A cool, calm evening in October is the absolute best time for a cigarette, hands down.

I don’t know if I should blame global warming or the fact that I’m further south, but this winter has been fantastically mild, making the past few weeks the absolute toughest of the past five months. Rather than a week’s worth of groceries like I used to, I walk a few blocks to the grocery every couple of days and buy a little bit at a time. As such, I keep finding myself outside in the dark, on these cool, calm evenings, jonesing for a smoke. On top of that, I’ve been reading a lot of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs and watching movies like Domino, so that I’m reminded every 20 seconds that my fingers and mouth aren’t being occupied. I’ve quickly gone from “I don’t want to be a smoker” to “fuck it, I’ll do what I want.”

And yet I don’t. I’ve been telling myself for weeks now that I would start again, and find myself a niche as a casual, occasional smoker. I was going to bum one at the Flogging Molly show, but came home reeking and woke up coughing thanks instead to the efforts of others. Every time I pick up groceries I think about buying a pack, and every time I seem to think, “screw it, I’ll get them next time.” It’s almost like thinking, “screw it, I’ll start the diet tomorrow,” but with the opposite effect on my health.

I can’t really decide how I feel about it anymore. I’ve known people that got really upset about it, especially when I (or another friend) would agree to quit, only to renege later in the week. I never really saw what all the fuss was about, until I decided I wanted to quit and started getting all high and mighty on my smoker friends (sorry about that, guys).

Sure, it’s stupid. Yes, it will probably shorten one’s life, but so does prolonged exposure to sunlight. There are thousands of fatal car accidents every year, but we think nothing of driving to work or the store. Maybe there are bigger things to be worrying about.

I’ve always liked to say “Life is short - make the most of it while you can.” Does that trump “Life is short - quit making it shorter”?