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Wednesday, December 31, 2003's been a hell of a year, on top of a year that was "a hell of a year", which was the follow-up to 2-3 years of the worst years of my life. I used to look forward to each year, and the fun parties at the end of each one. I never made one resolution that I didn't keep. I've only ever made one resolution.

The resolution I made for that new year, many years ago, was not to smoke cigarettes ever again. At the time, I was going through 3 packs a day and realized that I was out of control, and needed to stop. It was in early December, and I decided that when the ball dropped in Times Square, I would never smoke again. In each of the days which remained to me as a smoker, I smoked constantly, enormously, even when I really didn't want to smoke another cigarette. I kept smoking and smoking and smoking.....................

When the ball dropped and the New Year was born, I extinguished my last cigarette (before I was done smoking it completely) , and walked into the kitchen in the apartment in Prospect Heights, IL. I turned on the cold water, turned on the Disposall, and one by one, threw all of my cigarettes into it. Then I emptied all of the ash trays into a garbage bag, and walked across the snowy parking lot to the dumpster, and threw away that stinky element of my life. I washed out the "good" ashtrays" (my father in law and mother in law were not only alcoholics, they were tobacco addicts too, so I had to keep a couple of ashtrays around). I threw the rest of the ashtrays into the dumpster with the bag of cigarette butts.
On my way baack to the apartment., I stopped at my car and retrieved my "emergency" pack of Marlboros from beneath the driver's seat. I took it upstairs, where it was fed to whirling blades and teeth of that machine in the kitchen sink.

I had done it! I had taken the first step! It was also the last step. I never smoked again.

Cigarettes are like my ex-wife. They cost a lot of money, they destroy you in many ways, you get used to them degrading you after a time, they leave a foul taste in your mouth, and when they're done, all you have left is a dirty butt, and an evil smell.

This year, my resolution will be to continue to try to enable my daughter to get close to me again. I have my blog site, which people are starting to link to their sites, which in turn, may enable my daughter or one of her friends to find my site and contact me, when she can. Since moving to California, I've probably consumed about 10 bottles of beer, 6 Margaritas, 2 rum and Cokes, and maybe 6 bottles of wine (with dinner). I'm closer to saintly behaviour than at any time in my life........I just want my daughter back, and then I can get on with my life.



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