Maybe it's Mary Ledoux's influence, but the thought of never smoking again makes me feel lonely. A world without any possibility of smoking is like a world without coffee or chocolate, or a world in which there isn't quite enough oxygen. Mark Twain was right.We have to keep some of our bad habits, like eating too much or drinking or loving imperfectly or gossiping, or smoking. Otherwise we might lose our connection to humble and mortal things, our connection to other people. (For sure I know that if I write a story about a person with no weaknesses or flaws, nobody wants to read it.) If you give up all your bad habits, toss all that ballast over the side, your balloon might just fly off toward the moon. Without your bad habits to keep you grounded, the danger is that you will become abstract, disconnected from your tribe. Not smoking at all in a family like mine is like not eating the sausage stuffing with the turkey. Not smoking is like losing my accent; it's like becoming a vegetarian or an academic.