In a dream.
Or maybe it was a nightmare.
I can't tell which.
In it, me and a friend - for years we have enabled each other's bad habits - were at a bar, on a rooftop patio.
We were having fun. And looking good, too.
There was no tension-building crescendo of music warning of the inhale. There was no deliberation.
I was leaning over the patio railing, all of a sudden smoking and smiling, my pal beside me, waiting his turn to take his haul.
It seemed to have happened so easily. As if I had not just been through two weeks of hell trying to quit. As if it was that easy and harmless to embrace the dark mistress again.
But then, a few minutes later, as we're leaving the bar, the implications hit me. I started fretting about whether the cigarette wiped out all my hard work and suffering, whether the next morning would bring anew the cravings and anxiety that seemed so insurmountable on Day One.
Then, I woke up.
And I smiled.