After a breakfast of toast with a whole stalk of young green garlic sautéed in duck fat with a couple of bites of leftover duck breast and three eggs, I Segwayed out to mail packages and stopped at Bi-Rite and picked up, among other things, a quart of Strauss Organic Low Fat Chocolate Milk since I had never tasted this brand. It was so tasty that I chugged half of it right out of the convenient glass bottle immediately upon returning home.

I hadn’t thought about it, but a real selling feature of the glass containers is that they have a much better mouth feel than does the spout formed when you open a cardboard carton. Hard to get your mouth comfortably onto those pointy things, but with a glass jug I get a good seal that will prevent more of the spillage stains that have built up on the floor in front of the refrigerator. Actually, the seal was so good that I had to go back in there a few minutes later and test it again, finishing the jug off in the process.

I must say that I experienced a great deal of oral satisfaction, of a kind that I’d not really had previously since cardboard milk cartons came into prevalence before I got old enough to be so depraved as to drink directly from the milk jug.

But wait, I just remembered that night in the ninth grade when I had padded into the kitchen, removed the water jug from the refrigerator, and was about to pour myself a glass of water when I suddenly realized that a Great Labor-saving Shortcut was available when Mother was not in the kitchen. Tastes better that way, too, being one step closer to the source.

Mother never caught me guzzling from the jug. I was a pretty stealthy kid.

But back to the chocolate milk. After I finished it, I hardly had room for lunch except for a quarter of a smoked eel, three nectarines, and a double handful of Brooks cherries.

I just flashed on what’s wrong with me. Why I’m so voracious now and go into binges of eating. It’s because I’m not smoking. Hell, I keep forgetting that I stopped smoking sometime back in February! I would never have imagined being able to write that sentence, but it’s true. It was on the 3rd that I got the test results confirming that the doctors were just kidding back in December when they told me that I had lymphoma, and I distinctly remember not having to go to all the trouble to go outside on cigarette breaks during the Siebel Open, which started on the 10th. So sometime during that week I admitted to myself that I no longer had an excuse to smoke, dammit, and stopped again.

(See, when they told me I had lymphoma, I was so delighted to finally see dark at the end of the tunnel that on the way home from the hospital I got the taxi to stop at a convenience store for a pack of cigarettes and joyfully resumed smoking.)

Yesterday afternoon I experienced a sudden rush of nicotine craving and it took me a couple of minutes to recognize the feeling for what it was since it happens now so infrequently. How strange it is.

People say that if they had their choice, they’d prefer to die suddenly of a massive heart attack or stroke. I just thought of a better way: If they still come with a last cigarette, I want a firing squad.

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