For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to smoke. You KNOW why – I don’t have to explain it. I mean, cigarettes are gorgeous. *Smoke* is gorgeous. And the movement in the fingers and wrists and watching things wrap around and curl into thin air… is gorgeous. A lot of it also has to do with how you stand and what your posture’s like and the kinds of stories you tell. I studied smokers really hard as a kid. They’d always exhale like they had better things to do and THAT was very cool. I’ve practiced holding fake cigarettes (i.e. pens, pencils, pieces of chalk) and took note of the different ways one can handle the thing. Like, for instance you can:
1. Hold it between your index and middle fingers or you can
2. Kind-of pinch it with your thumb, index, and middle finger and look like you’re thinking really hard and you can even
3. Hold it between your fingers, like the first one, but keep it closer toward your knuckes so that your two fingers are far apart, like a V. (I like that one.)

I smoked my first cigarette when I was 8. I was away for the weekend at my cousins’ house and we bought fake cigarettes from the candy store in town, but – I dunno – those fake, candy-things didn’t really do it for me, and the last time I checked? This was real life. So, my gentle, always-smiling aunt, who’s tall like a model, whose hair always blows in the wind, who NOTICED that all I talked about for the past two days was smoking? Bought me a pack of Newports.

So she lit it and started smoking – you know, to get it started for me and she said things like, “This is awful. Ugh.” And all I was thinking was, “Alright, alright, c’mon hand it over.” She gave it to me and I remember finding the smell of the cigarette (aside from the the smoke) so different from what I expected. Anyway. I inhaled a little bit, exhaled through my nose and loved it. My aunt was really worried, so she asked that I please inhale all the way next time. So, for my next shall-we-say “drag,” I inhaled for-real and coughed a lot and thought, “Wow this is more work than I thought.” After the coughing I smiled, all red, and kinda knew I’d want to do this again. So, I figured out a way to bring the pack of cigarettes home (with matches) but I never really smoked them, and they stayed in the front zipper of my backpack for days. And I thought: How badly do I wanna be an 8-year-old smoker? It’ll probably be a lot of sneaking around and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of other opportunities in the years to come where I could start right back up again.

And plus:

And I didn’t need to make my parents worry about me all the time


And it wasn’t so much about the smoke – it was more about being mature and well-respected. Plus:


One Response to “Cigarettes!”

  1. Elmon Kazandjian Says:

    Really enjoyed your blog, words and drawings. Your cig story reminded me of my sister,Marge and beer. Our neighbor Angelo offered her some,and she really liked it at her tender young age of eight or nine. Today he would have been accused of child abuse. Times were simpler then, but maybe we didn’t know better.

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