I quit smoking on New Year’s Day this year. I do that every couple of years or so, and it often lasts for a few months or even several years. When I backslide, it’s often as a result of stress: death, divorce, depression, or something else that starts with “d.” So far this year I have stayed away from smoking, mostly through refusing to buy a pack no matter how much I am tempted. Nonetheless, after a couple of beers or whiskeys with friends, provided they are smoking themselves, I’ll indulge one or two. Depending on how much I have had to drink, I’ll smoke more. The next day I wake up feeling gross, my sinuses full of horrible things, my teeth coated with moss or lichen, and a general crustiness. Then the self-loathing strikes. Weirdly enough, or perhaps suitably enough, this bout of self-flagellation purges me of the urge to smoke again. At least until the next shot of bourbon.

Time got away from me this week again, so I am behind on coloring the strip. I will post a color version on Tuesday. Until then, enjoy the glory of ink.

Spread the joy: