Some Readers’ Resolutions –DeWese

At 2:05 a.m. on February 5, 2005, I lost a lover and a friend. We’d been together nearly 50 years. We met at age 12 in the woods behind Richard Lanier’s house in Brooksville, FL. From that point forward, we were never far apart and we grew closer as time passed.

At first, our courtship was casual and irregular. We had sweet and awkward, clandestine trysts. We were carefully secretive in my teens. The meetings were often passionate and sometimes left me dizzy, reeling and breathless.

We stepped boldly out of the closet at age 20 and had a 42-year intimate relationship. We were best friends, lovers and companions; through good times and bad, we were never apart. On those few occasions when we were separated, I would search in rainstorms, blizzards and in the wee hours of the morning to find my darling.

A Dangerous Affair

I can’t keep this up. You’re thinking that my “companion” is human.

My companion is my longstanding addiction to the nicotine in cigarettes. I won’t write about my motivation for dumping the old friend, except to say that my lover turned on me, and became dangerous and threatening. I’ll write about how I walked away later, but for now you should know it was pretty much cold turkey and I was real cranky for about two weeks.

I always had this Walter Winchell image of myself—you know, tough street-smart writer, blasting away on an old Remington, my fedora cocked over one eye, with a Camel clenched in my teeth.

I didn’t tell you about this to encourage any of you to quit any of your habits. But, if you recognize a “bad” habit within yourself, and you want to quit, just remember that if the weak, undisciplined Mañana Man can break a habit, then you damn sure can.

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