Yanno, there’s nothing like a good cigarette, especially the relaxing affect it has on me. I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I do so enjoy a good smoke. Just sit back and relax, nothing going on except paying attention to when to flick the ashes before they tumble from the lit cherry onto your pants, couch or the floor. That bugs me. Be in mid inhale, relaxing and your lips twitch just slightly and down go the ashes completely breaking your serene state as you frantically dust off or scoop up the ashes, more often than not making a bigger mess.
We were staying the week at a mountain resort. A friend of mine’s parents actually owned a time-share there and couldn’t make it this winter, so they let Sherry take the week. She dragged me along. I’m not much for snow. Being from Michoacan, Mexico I favor the warmer weather. But I must admit the snow is absolutely breath taking, the way it covers everything, not distinguishing houses from trees, cars from people. Everything up on this mountainside shimmered with the glow of snow and there was more on the way. Sherry was out and about, skiing, snow boarding, and snow mobiling. I was more than happy to chill at the lodge, drink warm coffee and smoke my smooth cigarettes. I wasn’t expecting company. Most of the people in this lodge were out with Sherry gallivanting in the cold wet snow, enjoying whatever weird sport they were into. I was pretty much, the only non-yuppie in the place, with the known exception of Sherry. She was out to get a rush and hopefully get a few fucks outta here.
He sat down at a table a few feet away from me, placing his mug of steaming coffee onto the table and began searching for something in his sweater. I watched him out of the corner of my eye; he was kind of hard to miss. He was bundled up pretty tight, so I couldn’t really get a make on what kind of body he had. After finding his pack of smokes in his pants pocket, he sat back down, flipped open the top and pulled out a cig and a lighter.
I watched him flick the bic a few times, the frustration mounting on his face with every misfire. I walked over to him and introduced myself, handing him my lighter. He lit the slender smoke and immediately drew from the comforting smoke.
“My name’s Michael and I’ve been dying for a cigarette. Thank you so much. My damned roommates thought it would be the best idea to drag my ass up here and force me to quit smoking. They went so far as to root through my stuff and throw away all my smokes. Bastards. Thing is, I don’t want to quit. I enjoy sitting, watching the world hustle and bustle around and savoring the earthy taste of my smoke. I don’t just smoke because I’m addicted, I actually enjoy it.”
I just started at him, completely astonished that he just said all that to me since he barely knew me, but also because of his last statement. He enjoyed smoking. He took my stare the wrong way though.
“Ahh ummm. I’m sorry about that. I didn’t mean to vent like that and freak you out.”
I smiled and shook my head letting him know that everything was all right and not to worry.
I lit a new cigarette and turned to him, blowing the first cache of smoke across the table and into his face. We sat in silence, looking out the huge bay windows, watching the loco yuppies fall repeatedly into the snow as they tried to show off some stunt or move that the instructor had showed them. Every so often we would laugh, but no words were spoken really. We both understood what the other wanted, just to be left alone to enjoy our sensual smoke, relax and laugh at the world. After the cherry had been put out, that would be a different story, but for now we watched, inhaled, exhaled and flicked.
I have a tendency to play with my cigarette. Sometimes when I’m deep in thought, I’ll roll the smoke between my index and middle finger, as the cigarette almost reaches the end of my fingers I’ll roll it back all the way down to the slight webbing of my finger’s base, only to do it again. At other times I’ll hold the butt of the cigarette between my lips and slide my lips across it, making the end bob up and down, disturbing the stream of the smoke.
I twirled my thick black hair between the fingers of my left hand and fiddled with my cigarette in my right. Ugh, I was almost done with it. I inhaled and watched the orange fire creep up slowly enveloping the paper in an almost chaotic pattern. I double inhaled … watching the cherry grow twice in length. I held in the smoke, savoring it and then released it into the cool air, watching the cloud spread out more and more the further it traveled until it finally spread so thin, it looked as if it had disappeared.
Sherry burst into the room, completely breaking the relaxing calm in her usual exuberant way. “What the hell are you doing cooped up in here? When are you gonna go do something?” She said breathlessly.
I took the last drag from my smoke and looked at Michael, shook my head and returned my attention to Sherry. ” I am doing something. I’m sitting here watching the rest of you freeze your asses off, make fools of yourselves, while Michael and I enjoy the warm company of a good smoke.” I said, as I exhaled my last drag. Sherry wrinkled her face and bounded out for more ‘fun’.
I turned to Michael and smiled as I reached for my coffee. “She’ll never understand.”
He nodded and sipped his coffee. We spent the rest of the week together, chatting, drinking coffee and enjoying our smoke.