No flash fic this week; sorry. I was helping R move, and even though I love this week’s photo, nothing much occurred to me, and I wouldn’t have had the time to give it if it had.
I’m wrestling with a problem you might be able to help me with. R smokes. He smokes heavily. And it’s bugging me a lot.
When we were living together way back when, we both smoked the first few years. Then we quit. I stayed quit, but he keeps going back to it. I’ve tried to keep my mouth shut when we’re together, but not only do I walk into a wall of stink when I visit him, he is insensitive enough to light up when I’m there, and not just once, but continuously. And yes, I’ve bitched about it several times, and felt guilty about nagging him, but he still does it.
I can’t take it anymore. Every time I breathe in, I picture little cancer cells growing in my lungs. After spending as little as two or three hours with him, I know my hair and clothes reek, and worse, I have trouble breathing when I go to sleep. In fact, I mentioned it last night while I was over there, and he made some nasty remark about me being a pansy because I couldn’t take it. (Do addicts ever hear what they sometimes say to others in defense of their habit?) I decided to leave; I didn’t argue, didn’t yell, just stood and said, “Think I’ll go home now.”
That gave him pause, then he offered to light up the fire pit in the lanai. He knows I love the fire pit. I figured maybe he’d stash the smokes for the rest of the evening, but guess what? Within minutes, he was lighting up again–sitting only three feet away from me. I covered my nose with part of my hoodie (it was chilly last night!) and anguished over a decision I didn’t want to make.
What I want to say to him is: “It’s your right to smoke in your house. Puff away. But it’s my right not to subject myself to it.”
I don’t want to visit him anymore if he continues to smoke inside. There’s a reason why so many states have made it illegal to smoke in public buildings; it’s gross! And it’s not healthy. And my lungs are nice and clean now, and I want to keep them that way.
But this will likely sound like blackmail to him (“Stop smoking in your house, or I won’t come over anymore.”), and he’ll dig in his heels and refuse. That’s also his right.
If he refuses to accommodate me, I won’t see him much anymore, and that makes me sad. We’ve known each other for a long, long time. There’s a lot of shared history between us, and he’s the only person in Florida I can be myself with. I never have to walk on eggs with him or carefully choose my words. Even when we piss each other off, it’s only a temporary dust-up. We get over it. I love him, and I know he loves me.
He’s talking about spending several months at a time up north this summer and asking me to housesit while he’s gone. But I don’t want to live in a house with yellow walls and furniture that smells of smoke.
Argh! What should I do?