Saturday, January 22, 2011

smoke

I step outside to find that there's a biting wind nipping at my body. It was unbearably hot and humid just this morning and now it's freezing. The weather makes no sense at all in this city. It's January and there's no snow, but there are varying degrees of forty degree temperature changes. God, don't you love this place.

My fingers stumble around in my pocket to find the packet of cigarettes I've been saving. One last ciggie left and i slide it into my mouth as I search for my lighter. I find it in my other pocket and flick it one, two, three times until i can get a decent flame burning. I suck in and reverberating pleasure resounds through me. I breathe out and my favourite thing in the world comes curling from my mouth: smoke.

This is why I'm addicted to cigarettes. Not just because it helps calm me down, but the motion of my fingers, and the smoke that comes out every time i exhale...it's so beautiful. I play with it, like a person plays with a kitten. I hold it back, suck it in, let it slowly, slowly...and then whoosh it out fast. It's fun. It's addicting.

But today, she said she'd found me a way to quit smoking. I told her I already was addicted to chewing gum, so putting nicotine and masticating motion together wouldn't be the wisest idea. She said it was something else, something I couldn't get addicted to, except for the purpose of seeing the smoke. I told her I was anti-drugs and she told me to shut the fuck up, if i was anti-drugs, why the hell did I smoke. So I said I'd meet her at three by the bridge.

As I get in the car, she cranks the music up so loud, I swear I can feel my eardrums cracking. I shiver in my thin, summer clothes until we get to her apartment. I jump up and down while she's searching for her keys. This happens every goddamn time. Hurry up hurry up hurry up, yes, I'm in! And I almost fall over her cat that's stretching near the door. I take off my shoes, scavenge her fridge, and follow her into the room. The cat follows me and hops in my lap as I lay down on her bed. So what do you have for me, I ask. Wait. So I do. I can hear clanking in the kitchen, water rushing out of the sink. I hear footsteps and I hear her say behind me Close your eyes. I do so, and a minute later, I can feel a heavy weight settle on the other side of the bed. I hear curses and a lighter clicking several times. Dude. I told you I don't want any weed.
This isn't weed, stupid. I told you, this won't be addicting.I sigh and wait for her to be done. Five minutes later, she tells me I can open my eyes. I do so and see a hookah. I blink. A hookah? Aren't you supposed to put tobacco in it?
Yeah, but it's extremely diluted so it'll be totally fine. It's really spiced up. Give it a try.
And I do. I breathe in and feel soft, sweet, musky, thick in my mouth.
Try to talk with it. It's hard.
What should I- I laugh. It is hard to talk with it in your mouth.
But I notice that smoke goes everywhere. It's better than smoking. I could do this all day. I lay on my back and watch the smoke drifting towards the ceiling.
Can you get high off this?
No. Of course not. Dude, anyone who says they can get high is totally lying.

Puff puff. Exhale. Breathe. Mmh.
Close eyes.
I smile.

And if you go chasing rabbits and you know you're going to fall tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar has given you the call

Call Alice*

Call Alice

Call me...

*lyric from white rabbit by Jefferson Airplane

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