On February 6th, 2011, after at least seventeen years of smoking regularly(as opposed to smoking irregularly?), I made a serious, 10th attempt to quit. This was the real deal, I thought, especially because I had many factors meeting at a crossroads of motivation: health, support, finances, and mentality. Initially, after the first three days of feverish nicotine detox, I went a good and easy 6 days without smoking, then had two. After those two, I went another two days clean and had one. I went another ten days after that and then found myself engulfed in the Charlie Sheen media madness usurping all broadcast airwaves. Despite all his irrational tiger blood, adonis DNA, and warlock jargon, I found an underlying message in all of his unapologetic gonzo interviews: you only live once.
His hodgepodge of nonsensical diatribes permeated my psyche and I made a subconsciously conscious decision to go out and get a pack. Not because I was dying for nicotine or trembling with the need for a stress-coping mechanism, but simply because I wanted to. I wanted to have a smoke, and then maybe another after that, and I could no longer find my motivation to quell this moderate desire because I had been tainted by the message of only living once. I’m not saying that if Sheen started a church I’d enlist as a member, but in all his unadulterated, unremorseful sound bites, Sheen’s words resonated of a man living life on the edge and not being sorry for it. He wasn’t dead, he did a lot of things he probably shouldn’t have, and he took his soul places that probably gave it visible scars, but he wasn’t regretting a second of it.
I’m not saying I’m out there banging 7 gram rocks and finishing them, but the fundamental desire to do something and not deny it remains the same. Amid a world of people trying to live better, practice healthier lifestyles, improve upon themselves and their surroundings, came a man who grabbed a global megaphone and verbally gave the finger. Think Cee-Lo’s, “F*** You” single but on a grander scale. A much, much grander scale. Sheen has since became a Twitter and Facebook phenomenon and garnered fans at a Bieber-like speed, except he’s in his forties and knows a little bit more about life. Or should. If some 17 year-old came out blabbering the things Sheen did, no one would pay attention. The world would call on his parents to throw him in a discipline headlock and discard him as a glorified Maury Povich guest. Sheen on the other hand, is an adult. He knew better, yet chose the path of disregard. He shirked everything we’ve been taught as children to make us responsible, productive adults, and gave in to desire, good times, and living a “bitchin’ life.” Deep down, isn’t that what every adult wants? Ironically, to be that 17 year-old again, only this time with the knowledge of being 40.