A glimpse into one actor/writer's life in La-La Land. Part lampoon, part harpoon, all good.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


True Romance - not a great movie - but what a wonderful, intoxicating subject. We're all in love with being in love. And I'm no different. Of all the loves in my life, though, the singular most comforting (and simultaneously dangerous) affair has, by far, been the decades-long one I've had with cigarettes. Like so many romances, it burned hot and was (literally) addictive; it had its ups and downs, its humps and bumps; and, like 55 per cent of American marraiges, it has finally come to an end. I tried to deny it, that it was over; I tried to ignore the problems we were having. But I had to face the truth: we were, as they say, bad for each other. And I knew that we had to part ways. Like Bogart (who, in real life, was a gay chain-smoker) in Cassablanca, I knew that the time had come to say goodbye.

But how to do it? How to finally call it quits? I thought of scientology; I am, after all, right down the street from their "Celebrity Center." And, look at the sucess folks like John Travolta and Tom Cruise have had with their Amway-styled religion. I also thought maybe I'd go for a cleansing, like maybe a deep colonic. But then I thought, hey if John Wayne could have ten pounds of undigested beef in his intestines (as rumor says) then hell, so could I. (Besides, I couldn't imagine sitting in some freezing office, half naked, with my legs up in stirrups. (If my legs are going ever going to be in stirrups, then Tyson Beckford is gonna be in the room, damn it.)

And then I remembered hearing that acupuncture was good for all addictions, and I thought I'd give that modality a go. I was desperate, afterall, for help in putting an end to my fatal attraction. I did a search for possible centers in Los Angeles and found literally dozens, all right in my neighborhood. But when I tried to make an appointment, the people that answered could only scream at me in Korean. So, I continued looking until I found a lovely white girl. Sounds awful, but I really wanted someone who possesed the education, but with whom I could also relate. And I found her, Heather Lounsbury at "Breathe Balance. She looked like a sweetheart and the website had pretty colors. Okay, not very scientific, but I went with it. I made an appointment and then planned to quit smoking on the day of my first treatment.

And then I got scared. Really scared. Like Sigourney and that bad-breathed alien. But hell, if she could face her demons, then so could I. Right? So on my quit day, I got in my (now battered) little car and headed for the beaches of Santa Monica. All the way there, images of me turning into some 60's hippy dropping acid flooded my mind. I also imagined showing up at the office, ringing a pleasant bell and hearing some monk ring a gong, only to find that gentle Heather was really the guy from Hellraiser.

But there were no monsters, and no granola freaks ready to induct me into their hellish, uber-healthy cult. Instead, I was met by Heather who was, indeed, sweet, just like her picture. She was also gentle, kind and very intelligent. She explained the basic principles of Chinese medicine to me, with emphasis on the fact they were designed with the intention of helping the body heal itself. Being a psychiatric practitioner, I liked that idea. She was helping me to help myself. Then she helped me lie back, offered the warmth of a heat lamp, and started to insert those infamous needles. To my surprise, they didn't hurt. In fact, I didn't feel a thing. Until, that is, she touched on the areas of the body known to deal with pain and grief. I felt those; but even then, it was just a brief prick, a touch of electricity and pain. No big deal. No drilling, no abuses, like the torture poor Dustin received in Marathon Man.

And now, I'm, proud to say, that I'm cigarette free; I did it - I quit. It's been six and half days now (my last smoke was actually on election night, watching as the Republicans got, as Bush said, "a thumping") and I'm doing pretty good. My head hasn't turned 360 degrees, I haven't broken down crying at work (like the last time) and I haven't killed anyone.

I haven't even been bitchy, which is really saying something; trust me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

GOOD FOR YOU!! Hip Hip Hoooooray!! Go RobbieLangdonStudMuff!

You think it would work with chocolate?...nevermind, I'm not yet ready for the break-up.


11:58 AM  
Blogger Dish Upon a Star said...

Congratulations, Lang! Now we can really make out.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Betsy said...

Baby, I'm ready to kiss those ashtray-free lips ANYTIME! Come on ovah!

12:38 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Congrats, Lang Lang! It's six months now for me!

1:30 PM  
Blogger L said...

Yay! It worked! Your lungs are happier already.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read that smoking shortens the, ahem, "member." I swear! It's a good thing you quit.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my gawd! I LOVE you guys SO much! Thanks for the cheerleading! I am doing okay; a coupla rough days in there where I wanted to tear the flesh from somone's face; but I'm over that hump. I had a second treatment - needles and all! - and I'm doing better. This is an amazing process - and now, I have women offering kisses! All right, baby!

=D Lang

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey wait - a smaller "member???" NOT POSSIBLE. Is it??? (Not that I really have anything to worry about; I'v got plenty to spare!) ;)

xoxo ~ L

10:38 AM  

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