Monday 14 July

With what is perhaps my single most act of maturity thus far into adult life, I have decided to give up smoking. While the fatal health problems caused by biffing/jiggery pipery remain largely unproven, I sense that the roll-ups are in no way contributing towards my plan to live forever. But it isn't easy, the tobacco worm having grown to inhabit the armchair of my brain when not swimming its leisurely backstroke up and down the bloodstream. And from such a vantage point it may easily convince one that the two old fellows sharing a street corner gasper seem a rough outline, if not a complete picture, of health: a resemblance I could not unreasonably expect to share with them at that age. It is, however, a thesis that compels one to forget the third of the trio – perhaps the first of the gang to die, quite possibly some considerable time before, with an emphysemic cough relieved only once his ashes had joined the ether. It is a challenge and one I will rise to; the cutting down I have thus far undertaken only invites the first of the day (night) to produce a giddying rush not dissimilar to sniffing industrial glue, quickly followed by a morbid desire to chain-smoke my way back to grim-faced happiness. But a couple of acts before I give up the cigarette sponsorship (all those logos so effectively patching the holes in my racing britches...) – a last, massive cigar and a necessary dance with 'Miss Green' (and yes, I will inhale her perfume) in order to move as seamlessly as possible within Badger's squareless circle.

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