Dreaming about smoking…

by bjmuirhead

Just a few days ago I was woken from a deep but disturbed sleep by a dream.

I wouldn’t describe it as a nightmare, but it wasn’t pleasant.

In this dream I had divided, somehow, into two versions of myself, and what woke me was the argument I was having with myself about smoking.

The other version of me was telling me I had to give up smoking and, moreover, told me when I was going to give up smoking, specifically tomorrow, after the opening of my exhibition.

This may sound as though it was a pleasant conversation with myself, but I can tell you we were arguing and abusing each other to great effect. This wasn’t what woke me, however. What woke me, with a shock, was that I actually agreed with this monster non-smoker within me. I said Yes, that would be a good time to give up; okay, I’ll do it!

Of course, giving up smoking doesn’t mean much here in Australia, not really, because it is almost impossible to buy good tobacco. The exception is cigars, which are prohibitively expensive for ordinary folk, and are about to become more expensive. (Oh the joys of trying a different tobacco or cigarette every few days! And the quality you once could buy here. My favourites were Sobranie cigarettes, the Egyptian oval, and Edgeworth King Size Virginia from America, Special London roll your own tobacco and LLoyd’s Baby’s Bottom Flake; and for pipes, Irish Cake, the Sobranie Latakia Mix, Larsen’s Classic, of which I stall have half a tin brought back from Denmark for me by a friend… all gone, never to be seen in Australia again, even those that are still manufactured, because government taxes make it too expensive to import unless it is smoked by a huge number of people.)

I know that if I could get the cigarettes and tobacco that I used to buy in the 1970s, I would not even begin to think about sticking to this dreamt agreement with myself, but I cannot.

Of course, what really interests me is the question: What will happen in my sleep tomorrow night if I don’t give up smoking? Is an agreement we make with ourselves, in our sleep, binding?

I must find a psychologist and see what they think.

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