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  1. #1
    Advanced Mentor Fictionary's Avatar
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    This Thing, One Year Later

    I am thirteen years old, alone in the kitchen, the rest of my family off someplace, the window painted gold by the late autumn sun, and I stand at the sink holding one of my mother’s countless home-rolled Player’s Lights, expertly twisted at the end, fumbling it between my fingers and thinking, What’s the worst that could happen?

    I am sixteen years old, a co-conspirator in a genius and elaborate and ongoing plot to rob our local hockey arena blind, one Blue Whale and box of Smarties and pack of DuMaurier Light at a time.

    I am twenty years old, starting my third year of university and surrounded by girls who move in all the right ways, who make me feel like the funniest man alive, and one in particular who shares my brand and looks like a certain favourite actress of mine when she exhales slowly in the dull blue glow of four in the morning.

    I am twenty-five years old, a world-traveler, more alive than I’ve ever been, with a beautiful apartment in an old part of Seoul and a small group of incredible friends who I smoke with in every bar and in every club and in almost every restaurant, in kareoke rooms and taxi cabs, even in our office at the school where we work, like it's 1974 again.

    I am thirty years old, alone at home on my birthday, having promised myself and everyone around me that this will be the day I quit, for real this time, and even though I've thrown away my last four cigarettes and all my ashtrays and lighters and matches and washed my jacket and avoided all my smoker friends and destroyed three packs of gum since I woke up this morning, by 7:00 I have decided that I would, quite simply, prefer to smoke than to not smoke, and my next cigarette is possibly the best that I have ever had.

    And then I am thirty-one, holding my father’s hand while he lays asleep in the ICU, an unforgiving tube snaking down his throat, his hands swollen, his face unshaven, eyes black and blue, and just enough instinct and strength and courage left inside him to squeeze me back.

    A month and a half later, my sinister, masochistic, eighteen-year relationship with cigarettes ends forever, and not long after that, my father, wobbly and emaciated but still alive, enthusiastically requests that I blow my Very Berry Tobacco closer in his direction. He says he loves the smell of my Heavenly Waffles. He says black licorice should never be green, but what the hell, boy, let me have another whiff of that.

    All I wanted was to quit smoking. It should never have been so easy. Every other attempt had ended in failure, not because I lacked the willpower or even necessarily because I was addicted to nicotine. It was fear. Pure and simple fear. Fear that if I quit, I could never, ever smoke again. Fear that my mornings would always be incomplete. Fear that I would need to adopt a brand new group of friends. Fear that I could not reach for the one thing which always calmed me and comforted me when I needed it the most. Fear of the finality of it all. I suppose when you look at it that way, I feared quitting more than I feared dying. Non-smokers could probably never understand that. There was a time, all those years ago, when I couldn’t understand it either. But that didn’t stop me from taking that first drag, and then one more, and then hundreds of thousands more. Maybe a million more. The ash and the tar and the poison, the slow, guilt-ridden suicide that I just could never stop, not for anything or anyone in the world.

    And then I found vaping. I found a new way of life. A new way to live. And I've been living this way for a year now. Fucking crazy to think about. The memories of those first few days are uncannily clear for me still. Wednesday, February 27, I received my Reo Grand. Thursday, 450ml of juice from Madvapes, four TrustFire 18650s, a charger, an obscene number of cartomizers. All my juice was 24mg, and it nearly brought me to my knees. Friday, I received an Ego passthrough and a bottle of Juicy Clear Vanilla Tobacco from NicFitNation. 18mg was much more my speed, and the juice was goddamn delicious. I knew that night that I had a winning combination. I went to a friend's place and had a few drinks and unceremoniously and unsentimentally smoked what would be the last few cigarettes of my life. Saturday was March 2. I woke up, put my coffee on, showered, threw on a robe. I sat down at my computer and began my journey as a vaper. More importantly, as a non-smoker. And that was that.

    My experience with vaping cannot be much different from that of all you other vapers, any more than my experience with smoking was different from your own. How many of us would never have lit that first cigarette, knowing what we know now? How many of us feel like vaping has provided us with a second go at life? How many of us have been able to turn “one day” into “today” because of this beautiful thing we’ve found? I never finished that final pack. I keep it under my vaping table amidst a pile of old vapemail boxes and empty e-liquid bottles. There are probably nine or ten cigarettes left inside, ready to crumble to dust should I ever touch them again. Someone told me that holding on to them is the same as not letting go, but I disagree. I like having them there. I like not being tempted by them. I like knowing that I won.

    People still ask when I will quit altogether, and I have long since stopped trying to make them understand. In the beginning it was all I wanted to talk about, but nowadays I try to keep myself a bit more to myself. The first time I corresponded with Funky, he remarked how he missed being new to it all. I know now what he meant. The luster and the romance and even a lot of the excitement have worn off over the last year, but that doesn't mean I love vaping any less. If I did, innocuous pictures like this wouldn't make me tingle in my bathing suit area:



    And so a year later, things are very different, and of course very much the same. Friendships have been formed. Thousands of dollars have been spent. The quest for the perfect vape continues, even though I have already found it. I knock things over more than I used to. I still buy gear and juice in unreasonable volumes to absorb hilariously inappropriate shipping costs. I look for stronger drill bits. I clutch my PV to my chest all protective-like and patiently explain to curious passers-by that no, I am not smoking crack, or weed, or an advanced marital aid. I've purchased tackle boxes. I've purchased parts storage units. I've purchased new book shelves. I pay attention to particular news items. I try to share my knowledge and experience. I tilt my head ever so slightly when I hear someone say that they really need to quit smoking. I close my door at work so I can "make phone calls." I devise names and flavours for my imaginary juice line. I fill my cart with things I'll never buy. Sometimes I buy them. I coordinate my vapes with compatible consumables. I use Kayfuns and Joye 510s. I trade juices with vangrl (sounds wrong, but I'm leaving it). I hang out at Jedi's and Canap's B&Ms long after I've made my purchases. I set new budget goals that I cannot explain to a lot of people in my life. I am no longer comforted by the following assurance:



    On the coffee table in front of me, I see the following: a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a box of cotton swabs. Seven 18650s. A SID. An SVD. A Tesla. An MVP. An MVP2. A Hypertank. Two Twists. My Nemmy clone. My Chi clone. My GG clone. Juice from Good Life, Heather's, and Sadie. Springs and end caps. Drip tips. On the sofa next to me, a small box filled with AWG28 kanthal, nail clippers, 2mm ekowool, tweezers, needle nose pliers, a multitool with screwdriver, three drill bits, a lighter, a mini torch, and a few cotton balls. A box of tissues (FOR VAPING SHUT UP!). My Vamo. My eVic. My Reo. Boxes of juice from Mr Good Vape, POET, Cold Turkey, Funky, Jedi, more from Sadie (<3), Plume Room, Ben Jonson. Behind me, my VTR, a dozen mechanicals, another Twist, juice from Standard, Flavour Crafters, Jughead, Stinky, VaporChase, Murdoch, Juicy, MLV, Liber8, god knows how many samples from how many vendors from my good pal vangrl. Bags of cotton, a disassembled Kayfun, another filled with Black & Blue, a couple of AGA-T2s that made me give up on gennies forever, three iGo-Ls, Pot of Gold box lids filled with odds and sods, carto tanks and 306s and Evods and Protanks and Vivis and iClears and boxes and boxes of replacement heads. Even the delousing kit that I bought when I was hard up for a magnifying glass. As I write this, I have my Silver Mod DNA20 plugged into my laptop, dripping Deadly Sin on an iGo at 0.9 ohms and 19 watts, and it is some of the best vaping I have ever done. A year ago today, I didn't even know what the hell an ohm was.

    All I wanted was to quit smoking.

    Now look what happened.
    Last edited by Fictionary; 03-02-2014 at 10:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Mentor Texasweekend's Avatar
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    I LOVE IT! Guess this is where most of us will be after a few years of vaping, or less.

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  4. #3
    Coach Unitus77's Avatar
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    Well we have a professional writer in our mists. Great story keep it going bud.

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  6. #4
    Advanced Mentor
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    Your second to last line " All I wanted was to quit smoking " sums it up for me. On March 23rd it will be a full year for me after 48 years of smoking.

  7. Likes Fictionary, lucv13 liked this post
  8. #5
    Guru Wolffy's Avatar
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    Brilliant!

    I can relate to many parts of this story. I'm only 4 1/2 months in and still playing with 2nd gen vape gear for the most part but still see tobacco in the rear view mirror. I desire one mech mod right now, but that's it. I may have found the perfect ADV but am not sure if the 37th or 40th or 50th flavor I try might be better.

    The biggest wish I have is that I had discovered vaping 20 years ago. I was ready to quit then but didn't have the tools to do so. My life would be far better than it is if I had the opportunity to quit smoking back then.

    All the power to you Fictionary, you won!

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  10. #6
    Guru
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    Fantastic Fic!

    As you often do, you put a huge smile on my face

    Congratz on your first year!

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  12. #7
    Mentor Major's Avatar
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    Amazing post and story, congratz on the 1 year, here's to many more.

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  14. #8
    Tutor Spooner's Avatar
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    This is fantastic.

    Sent from my SM-N900W8 using Tapatalk

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  16. #9
    Advanced Mentor lucv13's Avatar
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    Yes a very familiar tale, thanks for sharing...

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  18. #10
    Staff Moderator katmandu's Avatar
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    Fictionary, once again your words held me spellbound. Congratulations on your one year vape-aversary!
    Second hand vaping - the process of letting people know that it's much better than smoking normal cigarettes and in the process converting them over.

  19. Thanks Fictionary thanked for this post
    Likes Major liked this post
 

 
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