THE DIARY OF Emma D May: Not a patch on nicotine

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Sunday 12.01am: Am about to go to bed, due to being unable to trust self anywhere near anything which triggers urge-to-smoke mechanism. Danger areas include pubs, clubs, walking to tube, driving, restaurants, visiting friends, waiting for bus, watching television, making phonecalls, after meals, after exercise, after sex, drinking coffee, tea, lager, taking any form of narcotics, queuing for anything. That kind of thing.

12.05am: Wonder whether any emergency cigarettes anywhere in flat. Not to smoke. Just to know they are there for comfort purposes in case cravings become so intense in night that turn into homicidal maniac. After all - am coming off most addictive substance known to humankind. All-night garage open, but not in any way tempted to go and buy any. Instead, will go and sleep the true and deep sleep of the non-smoker, ready to wake up liberated from addiction to deadly substance which deprives developing world of rainforest and serves only to line pockets of nefarious multi- nationals and Margaret Thatcher.

12.15: Practice in front of mirror: "No thanks, I don't smoke"; "No, I don't have a light. I don't smoke"; "Would you mind smoking in the garden, please, as this is non-smoking household"; "If you don't put that cigarette out immediately I am afraid you will incur a very large fine and I will be forced to break all your cigarettes - and each of your fingers - one by one." Ponder fine line between being non-smoker and fascistic anti- smoker.

12.25: Ah, to bed at last, in my lovely unsmoky bedroom. Will now sleep best sleep in ten years and awake fresh-mouthed and sparkling.

12.35: So long since have gone to bed without passing out wasted immediately head hits pillow that can't quite remember how normal people go to sleep. Are you supposed to empty your mind or just let your head do its own thing? Do you just lie there and wait - and all of a sudden sleep creeps up on you? Does listening to music soothe you or wake you up more? Could maybe just have one knock-out spliff. Not for nicotine - just for soothing effect. Never said I was giving up dope.

Good Emma: Do you really think smoking 20 spliffs a day constitutes giving up smoking?

Bad Emma: Yes.

GE: But it's still smoking!

BE: Yes, but the nicotine content is minimal.

GE: How are you going to be able to do anything if you're floating in a haze of dope?

BE: Never stopped me before.

GE: Hardly a very mature response. I just don't want to see you kidding yourself...

BE: Look, I'm the one giving up smoking here, so I make the rules. Give me a break.

GE: Give yourself a break. Try counting sheep or something...

BE: Oh shut up and go to sleep.

12.45: Try counting sheep but keep seeing beautiful cigarettes serenely sailing over farmyard fences. Attempts to concentrate harder lead to bizarre images of sheep unable to jump fence due to being suspended in formaldehyde. I don't smoke I don't smoke I don't smoke...

3am: Wake up with every fibre of body screaming: I WANT A CIGARETTE!!!!! Stick pillow over head and go back to counting Marlboro Lights over the fence.

11am: Woken by doorbell. Anna, back from holiday, beaming in doorway. "Got you a present from duty free," she says, tossing 200 Marlboro Lights in my direction. I pause, heart thumping like I've been running for bus. "Erm, thanks," I say. Will definitely give up after finish these.

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