Standing In Line With The Voices In My Head

It took me more than fifty years to figure out that habits don’t necessarily have to be wrong in order to be enjoyed. Yeah, I know all about the value of good habits but I can’t say I miss them since, well . . . I haven’t really had ’em. But seeing as how I’ve cut bait with some not so good ones, that can be considered a good habit, can’t it?

I had time to ponder such things as I was spending half a day in a grocery store checkout line. Okay, it was only about twelve and a half minutes, but when you’re as impatient as I am, it’s really the same difference. I shouldย be thankful for the supermarket interlude since it allowed the voices in my head to braise some thoughts and add some spicy logic to the mix. Here’s what I cooked up . . .

  • I don’t consider impatience to be a bad habit, but I’ll put it here since certain people do. And I can’t help it if those certain people possess the urgency of a slug.
  • Understanding, or lack thereof by yours truly. (See above).
  • I used to miss smoking, like . . all the time. Now I only miss it in contextualized renderings that rarely have anything to do with reality. Like for instance, if a zombie apocalypse ever happens . . Imma be stocking up on nicotine for the end. And then I’ll get to smoking the fuckers till I arrive there.
  • Back in the day I used to drink several times a week because, truth be told, it was part of my brand. I was a really good time with a few drinks in me. Problem was, the good time had no boundaries and I usually woke up in the morning with more sins to account for than the Lannisters. But with age, and hospital visits, comes wisdom. And now I partake once a week. Twice if I’m being really inconvenient with the truth. Turns out that wisdom? Ain’t nearly as much fun.
  • There was a time when I used to believe there was nothing better than a smoke riding shotgun with my drink. Hell, I still believe that. I just don’t marry the two any longer since I possessed not a wit of moderation in the coupling. Turns out that wisdom? Well, you know . . .
  • Back in the day I used to go to sporting events all the time. A handful of baseball games, an NBA game or two, even some football and hockey tossed in the mix. Fast forward to 2021 and it’s been a hot minute since I attended a live game. Why do I mention it here? Because I’ve come to realize that attending sporting events is a bad habit in this day and age. You’re usually paying way too much for much too little when watching on TV makes so much more sense.
  • Political debates have become a bad habit, so I’m glad I kicked it to the curb back in the Clintonian Period. It’s easier to order a roast beef sammie at a vegan restaurant than it is to achieve a peaceably agreeable political debate. Believe me, I’ve tried . . . on both counts.
  • Cursing used to be a real bugaboo for me. I’m sorry, I don’t know what the blessed fuck got into me, using the term bugaboo . . .
  • Pain pills were my bad romance once. Damn me for leaving them.
  • I save running for last, since it’s my best habit. I’m thirty years in, having taken up skiing as my gateway drug before experimenting with a couple jogs, after which I was hooked. And while it ain’t ever gonna stop me from missing a starched martini served up with a fresh pack of smokes, I do so enjoy the supple Zen it provides, sans the sticker shock attached to those daze of yore. So as it turns out, the habit I’ve clung to the longest happens to be aย good habit.

Who knew?

61 thoughts on “Standing In Line With The Voices In My Head

  1. After a lifetime — yes, a real lifetime, if you count 35 years as being a lifetime — of drinking beer every single night. No, really, every single night. Even when I was sick, I still drank beer. For years, it was a two beer a night habit (except on weekends when I cooked and while I cooked, I drank, so weekends were more like a four or five or six beer a night habit). After all that, I’ve been battling that daily habit for a few years now. I’m in the midst of possibly my most successful break. No beer at home. I only have beer if I go out and since the age of COVID means going out less frequently, it doesn’t happen that often. But then, there are moments — this past weekend was the one year anniversary of my retirement. So, I had a couple of beers at home. The problem is, as I go through this, each time I have a beer, it tries to fool me, to trick me, to convince me that “well, you had one, or two, you can have more. Tomorrow. And the next day.” And that’s the battle I need to keep waging.

    I was just talking to a friend yesterday about returning to sports — to going to see a game again. When would we feel comfortable with that. Neither of us expressed any strong desire to do so. She is a lifelong baseball fan and she just doesn’t care that much anymore. I’m pretty much in the same place. There is something about sports that has just lost a lot their luster. I’m still a fan, I just don’t know if I care enough to go through the hassle of going to a game. Yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You keep at it Mark. We’re not young pups any more and so when the bills come due on our habits nowadays, it can be a tad bit more expensive. And yes, I’m speaking of our health.

      I’ve often wondered what happens if I HAD to stop. Completely. I would of course, even if it would make me miserable. In the short term, until I found something to fill that void.

      As for sports, I’ll go to an independent league game locally if I can. Because it’s STILL baseball. But other than that, like you, I just don’t feel compelled.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A terrific recap of your habits which may come as no surprise, were mine as well. Let’s see. Tangurquey on the rocks. (check) A smoke or three (check) Another Tangurquey + smokes (check) Dinner and wine (check) After dinner cordial or three (Check) more smokes (check) brandy to finish (check) So when someone tells me it is over, the gin and smokes go with me ( I haven’t smoked anything in 30 years. Since Nat Sherman in NYC closed I don’t know where I’ll get my smokes.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. At least you had a redeemer at the end of the list. I ainโ€™t got no such thing. And daily drinks are still on the agenda. Sigh. I know itโ€™ll kill me too soon, but damn, I do like the stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. B,

    I have to say this was a muy interessante list. Funny what happens as we stand in line – and instead of getting all fusserated with the time it’s taking to get our stuff scanned and stuffed – we let our thoughts go over not-so-silly things.

    Smokes and drink. Man, that combo was the hardest to break. The two went together so divinely. And yet, I have come to realise that most of the times I felt like total shit the next day? Wasn’t so much the booze as the increased quantity of smokes. Both – coz that gets so unreasonable when we are three sheets to the wind. One drives the other. Glad to say it’s been 24 years since I smoked my last cig (all of it, that is ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

    That said, I still consume too much alcohol. It’s so easy to have just one beer or one glass of wine every night. And most nights, I do. I could blame the covid and all the memes telling us we’re normal to do so but I have to be honest. It ain’t that.

    Bugaboo? Duuuuude… I know you threw that in there to throw us off.

    I am glad to say that I have developed two very good habits. Sounds silly, but I am actually flossing my teeth every night. Not just for that week right after you go to the dentist, determined to do it until your next visit but somehow one night is forgotten, then the next and then you are only doing it coz you got something really stuck in your teeth! And the second one is my daily walk. Rain, wind, sun, snow. I have gone out every single day since January 3.

    Got nuthin’ else ๐Ÿ˜‰ For now.

    Perfect choice of tune, of course. Because that’s what it’s all about, eh? Love the one you’re with – yourself – because you’ll always have you. Best to love the you that you are!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      Truth be told, it’s depressing as hell if I really stop and think about it. Moderation truly sucks.

      I don’t remember when it started to work against me, the smokes/cigs combination. But it WAS divine in its time, and I was let unscathed mostly. Until I wasn’t . . .

      I wish I could drink every day, but physically it’s coming back at me in ways I ain’t dig, so the cut back is my exit strategy. But the hereafter best have a bar. A great bar, the best bar ever.

      Right, I can’t fucking believe I used that fucking word. Thankfully I still have swearing in my game.

      Flossing and walking ARE good habits, and they will save you a ton of headaches going forward. I’ve started flossing on the regular as well after I was spitting blood (gums in need). It does work.

      Nuthin? You done said plenty. ๐Ÿ™‚

      It was in reference to the habits. The ones I left behind and the ones I have to use to fill in the gaps. Aye . . .


      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I hear you, truly I do. Moderation blows.

        Same. But I do remember that it stopped being so divine.

        Oh, I’m feeling it. Which is why I’ve been reducing big time. Guess what? I sleep better. Go figure. Save me a seat, would you?

        You were just shitting us ๐Ÿ˜‰

        They are good habits. And I had the same situation with my gums. My last dental cleaning was a painful job, lemme tell you. The walking really has become a habit. Today, it was particularly painful but I went out there anyway (just not as long!)

        I know, I know…

        And yet, it applies to what I said, too…

        Liked by 1 person

        • It does blow. And speaking of, I can tell how my mind is wired because I asked myself what would I do if I HAD to give up drinking and of course my first thought was . . . weed.

          I think I don’t miss the smokes much at all. Well, I do but I don’t miss the other shit.

          Save you a seat on the highway to hell? You betcha. And bring sunblock, por favor.

          I wasn’t. Was I?

          I feel like my face covering is no bueno as far as all that is concerned. Does that sound bat shit crazy?

          I know . . .

          It does!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Honestly, weed is not a bad way to go. Just sayin’.

            I am amazed that I don’t miss them at all. I think I scared myself off.

            Woot! Fully loaded!

            I know it ๐Ÿ˜‰

            I dunno… What do you mean?

            Of course it does!

            Liked by 1 person

          • No it’s not. It would be a decent fill in but for the fact I don’t smoke inside, LOL

            I’m just scared of COPD, having known several people who have had it. More than anything else, that scares me most of all.



            No idea, LOL

            Of course!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ah. That would help limit your consumption…

            It’s a nasty thing so remain scared of it, if it keeps you from temptation.

            You mentioned face covering. Maybe have another cup of coffee…๐Ÿ˜


            Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, it would.

            It is. More than cancer, the idea of not being able to breathe, yikes.

            The face covering crap rankles me. But not as much as the peeps who decide they ain’t doing it because it’s an inconvenience to THEM. Forget that it’s inconvenient to everyone . . .


            Liked by 1 person

          • So. Option accepted.

            Yeah. Awful stuff.

            I figured that what you meant. Just do it till they say we don’t have to anymore and for fucks sakes, stop bitching about it. It, um, is what it is. Just do it. The sooner we all do, the better.


            Liked by 1 person

          • Exackery! I have already seen it. Yesterday afternoon, during my frigid walk, I was shocked to see the outdoor hockey rink and parking lot FULL. 10 players on the ice, a good dozen sitting on the sides, a bunch chatting outside the rink. Party time…

            C’mon guys… Can you not respect the government’s requests? You’re just making this damn thing last all the longer.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. First off … great song. Just great! Be singing that in the car no doubt. And … Bugaboo. Ha! Was thinking the gardening was getting to you. But maybe it was the lack of drinking and smoking that created that response ๐Ÿ™‚ ha! Drinks Well With Others … ahhhhh met a cool cat named Cayman there and itโ€™s been a nice ride. Not much of a drinker myself, I mean if the occasion calls for it Don Julio or Patron be my jams, but itโ€™s been a while, nowadays I just add some wine to my sauces and taste test along the way ๐Ÿ™‚ people be thinking of life in that checkout line, boy. I do miss live sports but donโ€™t know when Iโ€™ll be back in the stadium or watching in the rink, gonna be a minute there I think I might enjoy a concert more. Donโ€™t know. Gonna be awhile. But till then we can check out our habits Good, Bad, and Ugly as we wait in the 10 Items or Less line next to O Magazine … being grateful that we have some good habits and put one on top of our list that morning when we went out on a run earlier and it just felt good. Felt Pat Riley vibe good … pretty sweet because waiting in that line be uninspiring for lacing up those Sauconyโ€™s after this market run.

    Sunshine and waves brother! This was a good post!! Thanks for sharing … maybe another waiting-in-line post, any line, is in your future ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah that Cayman Thorn. He was my lifesaver once upon a time, and I ain’t really kidding about that. He was able to wrangle the voices in my head into a coherent thought or several . I went off the rails, figuratively and literally and every other kind of misbegotten -ly. And Drinks brought me back, mostly it did.

      Pat Riley, I love the man so much that I followed him to New York and then to Miami, where I stuck. He could have coached the Celtics and I would have followed.

      I think these waiting in line posts work pretty well, huh?

      Sunshine and waves hermana

      Liked by 1 person

      • Duuuuuude we here be stalking Pat till the end ๐Ÿ™‚ Cayman on all the rails … glad I was there to meet him and take a ride on that life saving journey. Heโ€™s a positive force with good stories. Keep going ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  6. lots of mmmm-wonderful habits on the list (it was a lie ๐Ÿ˜‚… or not?). I’d be scared to post mine, because I’d def beat Tolstoy and his erotomaniac’s diary lol

    From the other side… Yes. I have 2. ๐Ÿค”
    I am a monk. 99% true, thanks Covid.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. !) any post initiated at the grocery store is a winner. 2) A great personal account without sarcasm. 3) There’s a great Vegan deli nearby that serves a mean roast beef sammie – and even better pastrami with a touch of bacon on the side. 4) CSN music has stood the test of time. 5) Well done, sir.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yanno Frank, I think you’re right. They seem to work pretty well. And I STILL can’t get this sarcasm thing down. I have really tried, but it just doesn’t come naturally. And what is the name of this deli? Do they deliver? CSN was part of my soundtrack when I went to Woodstock, and for good reason.

      Gracias Cincy


  8. Not the worst habits I’ve heard about. After years of leaving it in the rear mirror, I just discovered it’s over $200 for a day’s ski lift ticket alone. What the blessed hell?? Not that I was reconsidering hitting the slopes but Jeez Louise. Good thing that outdoor activity went by way of an aging body and reduced finances. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I partook that activity again. Not at those prices.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love walking, for hours. Just need my sprained ankle to heal up. Huh… what did I say? Can’t hear myself. Must be those voices in my head. I loved smoking so much I blew smoke rings when I burped. I quit smoking, but I’m still smoking hot. (Covid lock down hallucination)
    I actually enjoy the mask. No one recognizes me. It’s like I have a whole new slate of acquaintances, that recognize my mask.
    ๐Ÿ˜€ x

    Liked by 1 person

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