Three packs of cigarettes were lying there on the pavement. I went down from Shubentsov’s office doorstep, picked them up and pocketed them. Later, in a bar, when I opened the first pack, I found – to my 36 – the twenty cigarettes were there.
I’m still at the bar, telephone in one 37 and the cigarettes in the other. I’m dialing Shubentsov, who told me to call the moment I felt the urge to 38 . I feel it, feel it even 39 than I felt Shubentsov’s healing energy. That’s saying something, since Shubentsov is known around the world for 40 smokers of their nasty habit, using a 41 method. He sent his healing energy from his fingertips, he tells me – something he picked up from another man in Russia. “I help you for free,” he told me in his muddy accent. “Just call me 42 .”
I went to see Shubentsov. I think it’s time to 43 because I’m getting old, and I can’t keep doing this to myself. But here’s the real problem. I should quit, but like a lot of you 44 with the same habit, I really don’t want to.
Smoking has been very good to me. Cigarettes have never let me down, never abandoned me on 45 , desperate nights. Smoking 46 my head, helps me 47 . Smoking has started conversations, driven away annoying people. Smoking helps me celebrate victories, get over losses, comfort the comfortless. It also chases away the mosquitoes.
I will 48 . Soon, my body and my mind are demanding that , daily.
I claim to smoke for pleasure, but I realise that slowly I’m losing control of this close, special friend. I 49 that. I realise it’s not just a “habit”. I’m 50 .
So here I am, attempting to 51 again, at Shubentsov’s place. I’ve tried all the other quitting techniques 52 . Anytime the urge to smoke 53 , he said, just call him immediately and he’ll help. The funny thing is, I realise that I’m not phoning him to stop me from lighting up. I’m phoning him so I can. If I call, I’ll have done my part. Then I can smoke this cigarette. Besides, I know that at 9.30 on a Friday night, I’ll get the answering machine. I do. “The office is open from ten to four. Call me back then. This machine does not take messages.”
I put the phone down and I can honestly say I’m 54 . You see, it’s not Shubentsov’s fault or anyone else’s fault that I’m still 55 . It’s mine.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to smoke this cigarette. Whether I’ll really enjoy it, though, is another story.
36.A. sadness B. disappointment C. inspiration D. delight
37. A. pack B. hand C. pocket D. bar
38.A. smoke B. talk C. drink D. dial
39.A. weaker B. faster C. stronger D. harder
40.A. accusing B. helping C. developing D. curing
41.A. popular B. mysterious C. frightening D. dangerous
42.A. whenever B. whatever C. however D. whichever
43. A. start B. continue C. stop D. keep
44. A. struggling B. beating C. hitting D. playing
45.A.lovely B. friendly C. lonely D. daily
46.A. destroys B. hurts C. cuts D. clears
47.A. breathe B. smile C. see D. think
48.A. begin B. quit C. report D. study
49.A. hate B. love C. ignore D. miss
50.A. ill B. excited C. addicted D. fascinated
51. A. give in B. give up C. give off D. give away
52.A. available B. alike C. abnormal D. additional
53.A.strikes B. attacks C. indicates D. continues
54.A.disappointed B. unhappy C. satisfied D. relieved
55.A.living B. working C. smoking D. smiling
36-40DBACD 41-45BACAC 46-50DDBAC 51-55BAADC