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On the Porch — 40 Comments

  1. It’s weird how just feeling can be so scary. Whenever I used to smoke it was for precisely that reason : to numb out, and let the crappy physical state overtake the mental one. Lately I find myself wanting to drown in coffee and tea

  2. I don’t drink much, and never smoked, but dang, it looks so appealing in this story. You truly have captured that longing that addiction makes one feel. I feel the same way about 5000 calorie dinners.

    Although I did kind of want to start a church in an old building where people could worship and eat delectable croissants at the same time. Sorry about my imagination.

  3. I can’t say I have been to that porch myself. But I know many who have, including my spouse. And what you wrote sounds so much like what he tells me about his life before, and what happened, and what it’s like now. You wrote the hell out of that feeling in that time and place. I hope you’re in a better place now.

  4. I remember that life. They get you to stop one thing, but then you end up substituting with cigarettes and/or coffee. Well, I still drink coffee, but at least I’ve been smoke-free for some years now. 🙂

  5. This is such a powerful description of addiction. I quit smoking 2 years ago and I still have moments of longing, but not strong enough to ever want to go back. I struggle more with other addictions and the fantasy of it is always better than the reality.

    Beautiful piece. Thank you for sharing this part of yourself.

    • Yes, same here – the longing gets weaker as time progresses, and I never want to go back there. The fantasy is powerful. I have one of me looking chic on a bar stool in a sequined dress with a martini in hand…but that was never reality.

  6. Oh my gosh, Natalie!! Such great writing!! I was taken right there with you, and was feeling what you were feeling. And you nailed the smoking! When I became injured in college and was forced to stop running, I needed something to relieve the stress, and brilliantly decided to pick up smoking. (Thankfully, I didn’t repeat that this time around with my ankle injury.) You described the relief of the buzz so well. The whole piece was beautiful, and I’m glad you are strong enough now to look back and reflect on that time.

  7. Wonderful, wonderful writing Natalie. Your descriptions, “…like tar and minty cancer”, “memories I cling to like film wrap”, “…building…older than Jesus” are s excellent. I felt like I was sitting on the porch too.

  8. What an amazing post! I felt as though I was sitting on that porch with you, seeking some form of solace/relief in the form of a cigarette … thank you for sharing your vulnerability with us.

  9. I’ve said it before and I’ll happily say it again: Your writing is so evocative, and you always draw me in and take me with you. This is majestical talent right here, folks.

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