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December 28, 2014
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The Big Chill


Checking the weather report online was depressing. With a wind-chill prediction of minus 20 looming, I scrolled through Facebook, seeking diversion. Sure enough, the frigid temps were the main topic and I (momentarily) took solace, knowing that I wasn’t alone. The Catskill Chronicle’s Carol Montana weighed in by commenting that “It’s minus five in Grahamsville, with a wind-chill of minus 25.” Oy. “Holy Moly!” chirped FB pal Donna Amato, “Cuddle up with Dharma!” Noting that it was warmer in Alaska, Iceland and Antarctica, I threw up my hands. “Can’t handle this,” I cried, “I need to smoke!” Calling my closest neighbor, I begged for a cig. “No way” she replied “just deal with it.” Boots, gloves and parka donned, I trudged to the garage, only to find the door frozen shut with no way out. Shaking my fist at the universe in general, I slinked back inside, a broken man. Stupidly, I went back to the Internet. Angrily responding to my friends in Florida and their snotty posts, I took no comfort hearing that it was even colder in Maine and checked the ashtrays for butts. “I need help,” I wheezed, and called a “help line” (www.nysmokefree.com). The nice man on the other end was sympathetic and offered up some helpful hints, while I did my best to not let him know that I was close to tears. “It will get easier,” he said. “Hang in there.” With the faucets gently dripping (pipes froze last week) I’m despondent but resolute. Nick Naylor’s “Thank you for Smoking” is on TV in a few minutes. I think I’ll read a book.