Perhaps most troubling of all the side effects of quitting smoking - first it was rage, then persistent agitation - is the one expressing itself very clearly on my left cheek.
A freaking pimple.
At 30 years old.
This is something I've not had to contend with for many years.
And during this past weekend it left me in all kinds of unfortunate social situations.
(If you're one of these malcontents that has been complaining my blog is whiny and overly dramatic, then stop reading already. It takes all kinds of triggers, silly and serious, whether a work crisis or social anxiety fueled by a skin nuisance, to scupper a legitimate quit attempt. Only in retrospect - that is, if I stay quit - will most of them seem silly.)
At my favourite coffee shop:
"Could I please get a large, light-roast coffee to go? And could you leave some room for cream, please, and not look at my face?"
At the grocery store:
"Um, I know I'm a grown man with a pimple, but could I get this bread sliced?"
At the car wash:
"How much for a regular car wash?" I asked the cashier. "And will your guys vacuum out my face, er, I mean, my trunk?"
Okay, so these things were never said. But I heard them in my nervous little head. And they were probably being communicated to the barista and bakery guy and cashier by the throbbing semaphore on my face.