David Sedaris, my favorite essayist, writes of calming his severe nervous ticks, we are talking freak show shiz like licking door knobs, by taking up smoking. Apparently he just needed something to do with his hands. My own neurotic tendencies have been tamed by moderately extreme sports. This is a debate I have with my sister. Seeing her with a cigarette in hand, she can sense my disapproval.
"I'm not saying you're killing yourself............... Just you would probably live a longer and healthier life."
Obviously, this is the type of statement that makes me a bitch of a sister and why we can't just love each other in peace. The smoking hasn't tempered her wit.
"Shut up. When you stop flinging your body down a mountain on two little sticks, jumping off waterfalls, and traveling to third world countries alone we'll talk. Until then, remember, you're going to die first if you keep this shit up."
We settle on the compromise that we both enjoy the great outdoors. Whether sitting on a bench, cigarette in hand, watching the wind tussle the leaves or from a ski lift contemplating the physics of snow gathering high on a branch, the actions sprang from the same womb.