After I’ve peeled the plastic protective layer off the nicotine patch and am holding the flesh-colored circle above the actual, paler flesh of David’s forearm, careful not to touch the sticky medicated part with my fingers, I pause.
He looks at me in the bathroom mirror, lips parted, dark eyes glinting. I think he’s panicking a little, wants to back out, but I’m wrong.
“Let’s put it on the other arm, my left arm,” he says. “Just in case I have a reaction or something goes wrong and I have to have my arm amputated.”
He’s smiling a little, but mostly he’s serious. This is one reason we’re doing this, shedding what is for both of us an almost decade-long habit. David listed it as number one on his “Why I Am Quitting” list, written on notebook paper in his neat script, now posted on the refrigerator:
“Every day I smoke increases my chance of health issues, but also increases the chance I will spend my life fretting about health issues, which increases the chance I will spend my life feeling guilty about worrying.” [Read more...]