The time was just past 11:00 in the morning. The month was August. The year was 1983. I was sitting at my desk in my office on the twentieth floor of a high rise office building on Broadway and 53rd in Manhattan.
I took the last cigarette out of the pack of Marlboros that was in my shirt pocket and stuck it between my lips. I crumpled up the empty cigarette pack and casually tossed it into the trash can next to my desk. I reached into my front right pants pocket, pulled out my Zippo lighter, and with my thumb, I flicked the lighter’s wheel, which ignited the flame. I held the flame up to the tip of the cigarette, and inhaled deeply, drawing smoke deep into my lungs.
Then I noticed that there was another lit cigarette, half smoked, sitting on the edge of my glass ashtray on my desk.
I knew at that instant that it was time to quit smoking. I had two cigarettes going at the same time, having started to smoke a new cigarette before having finished the one I had already been smoking.
I snuffed out the old cigarette in the ashtray, took another drag off of the cigarette I had just lit, and then snuffed it out in the ashtray. I picked up the ashtray and emptied its contents of half a dozen smoked-to-the-filter cigarettes and their ashes into the trash can. I got up, empty ashtray in hand, walked to the men’s room, where I washed out the ashtray.
I walked back to my office, set the clean ashtray on the outside corner of my desk, and put my Zippo lighter next to it.
The time was just past 11:00 in the morning. The month was August. The year was 1983. I was sitting at my desk in my office on the twentieth floor of a high rise office building on Broadway and 53rd in Manhattan. That was the moment when I quit smoking. Cold turkey. That was the last time a cigarette touched my lips. That was the last time I inhaled cigarette smoke into my lungs.
Written for Jim Adams’ Thursday Inspiration prompt, where the prompt word is “smoke” and the prompt picture is at the top of this post.