6 years, and about 3 weeks ago, I went to The Mews on one of my days off, which is rare, to see a band called The Cured. As you might guess, they were a Cure cover band. I went alone.

I remember sitting on the balcony steps, enjoying the show. Probably about 30 people there. At one point, during a break in their songs, I yelled out, PLAY HOT! HOT! HOT!  And damnit, they did. They did it well, too.

The singer had on an XXL jersey, skinny black jeans, and white high tops with the tongues out, just like the man himself, Robert Smith. He even had the British accent!!!  And it was pretty flawless. You have to appreciate commitment like that, when talking about a cover band. Go all the way with it, or forget it.

Halfway through their set, or was it at the end?  Doesn’t matter, I went outside, and OH MY GOD WHAT DO I SEE?!?!  One of my best friends, with cigarette between lips, taking a big long drag.  I snuck up beside her. Oh yeah, I say, that’ll be 20 bucks, and dinner…on you. She says, oh shit, grabs a 20 from her pocket, and forks it over. That’s exactly how much I made tonight, she says. I just laughed.

Let me back up here. 6 years ago, to be exact, on my said friend’s birthday, July 15, we decided, mutually, to quit smoking together. Well…have you ever tried to quit smoking?  An absolute HELL is an understatement. So why not have a little incentive? Thusly, 20 bucks, and dinner, to the person who goes the longest. And honor code rules, of course.

I remember the 2nd day in.  AGGGHSVBFGXCHDHHC!!  I wanted to literally chew my hand off. As I was driving home from work that night, around 2 AM, I decided, right then and there, to never take another drag off a cigarette again. I pray, literally, hopefully, that as long as I don’t take that one drag, I will see another day, smoke-free.

After dinner tonight, the wife and one of my sons, went to a swim lesson. I’ve got my other son, solo, to entertain for an hour. So I’m thinking, man if I had a pack of smokes right now, and I imagined them, soft-pack of Marlboro Lights, full, rip off one of the sides on top. Put my son in front of the TV for 5 minutes, sneak into the garage, and have a smoke. And all that crap about, oh, it would taste horrible, is a bunch of BS. It would taste amazing. I guarantee it.

Instead, I’ll go do some heroin in the bathroom, and be good to go.

From my heart to yours,

Clint Curtis. Bartender.


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