I played four years of varsity football. Football in Florida is a special type of hell. Two a day practices in august in humid heat ruined the state for me.

I’ve had blood drained from both my knees with a large needle. in my memory I still feel the metal scrapping against the bone in my joint.

I’ve had two joint surgeries.

I did time in the army.

I’ve waited four days to get out jail over a holiday weekend because, ugh.

I’ve had my tonsils out as an adult.

I have twins.

I’ve known the pain and frustration of doubt, fear and failure.

But nothing has ever happened in my life that equals the pain I experienced when I stopped smoking cigarettes. Every moment of my day is still flavored with that habit. When I stopped I had to learn to live again with a constant pang of want.

Even after six years this pang haunts me.

Maybe one day it will go.

But the ghost of stupidity for even starting will be with me forever.


Author: Bryan Aiello

I call NYC home and wish the subway went everywhere and Times Square didn't suck. I saw John Turturro once. Maybe it was him. He was wearing a yellow shirt and smiled at me like he knew I knew. I am an Army vet who writes. I like characters who want more then they deserve. I like genre fiction. I love space. I love paladins. One day I might write a paladin in space story. Just you wait. The university of South Florida spit me out with a degree in creative writing and I find myself questioning the sanity of going to a school that advertises a fake beach on its brochure ever since. I intuit grammar. I Got married in 2012 We had twins in 2015. I do a lot of cooking and dog walking and ranting about the unfairness of sentience. You can follow me on Twitter: @bryaiello Wattpad: My Subreddit: My Reddit profile: Like my work? Become a patron at:

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