“What I need is a goddamn miracle and my cigarette is my burning bush.”
— NGT, “Sophia”
CIGARETTE SMOKERS are a curious breed. Try asking five smokers a peso and they’d tell you they don’t have change. Bum a stick and at least four will hand you their cigarette packs with lighters in tow. Roll your eyeballs left and right and they’d bring you makeshift ashtrays that will give Andy Warhol’s concept of “creative consumerism” a brand new perspective. Misery loves company and smokers are the most miserable of the entire lot. They’re the type that fancy group hugs. They belong to the only clique that welcomes strangers and newcomers with a smile and outstretched arms, a hazing-free fraternity. Share some death. They’re more accommodating than prostitutes to be sure, but at the back of their minds is Sigmund Freud dressed as a used car salesman. Fuck charity. They offer you death sticks because, whether they admit it or not, the only news they want to hear when they finally lay before the altar of emphysema is that you, fellow member of that 10 o’clock smoking club, have fared much worse, stricken with lung or throat cancer, spending your last days feeding your esophagus with porridge through a plastic straw.
I’ve been trying to quit smoking for God knows how long. It’s a filthy habit. And to a certain degree, I’ve had considerable success (Read: utter failure). But I keep hearing the boys at the office calling me, pointing at their wristwatches, mouthing the words “ITS-TEN-O-CLOCK” as they form a small, tight group and walk towards the fire exit. One by one they disappear beyond the wide open door. Then all I see is a plume of smoke billowing in the fresh open air…
… and oh, that thick aroma of rich Virginia… hmmm…
Anyone care for a smoke?