SMOKE

A lot of endeavour goes into the smoking of things.

 

I like smoke. I like the unpredictability of it. You really have too much choice when it comes to defining smoke formations. Is it a cushion or a horse, a bottle of red or an understatement? You always guess and you’ll probably never quite put a name on it.

 

I don’t know what to make of the smoke formations ahead. In fact, some excite me so much I scare myself and annoy people around me with jabbering or dancing. Or both. So I tend to turn and look behind me. Were those formations really what I thought they would be?

 

Tonight I bought a packet of cigarettes. It has been a respectably long time since I last smoked but I had a craving. It’ll take me forever to finish off this lot. I am not a non-smoker. But I smoke like I cycle. Very very slowly. I like the act of it more than the taste. There is something to that. Some fascination that keeps me coming back on occasion. It’s like being fascinated with the fascination of smoking. The decadence, the joy and the luring addiction. Attempts at smoke formations of my own volition included.

 

Lately I refuse to put up a smokescreen and I was so truthful last time we spoke that I disoriented myself. Now it has become rather difficult to retrace my steps and do the thing I usually do where I turn and decipher the formations behind me. Try to make him out but his outline blurs more and more. Instead I look ahead and identify a puppy, a swaying willow tree, my friend’s VW bus on a road trip or the last drops of my favourite French aperitif.

 

It’s a good thing that I confused myself the way I did. Looking back isn’t a healthy thing they say, and this way I may let bygones be bygones. In this scenario I cannot be swept off my feet and instead I become the queen of my own choices. Chakaaa!

Read out loud: ‘Be the queen of your own choices.’ And repeat.

 

So tonight I slouch under the starry night and have my first cigarette in months. An insect - I name him Brash - sits on my leg and he is going to bite me any second. I am a little envious of my puffing neighbour upstairs, he’s got a different kind of smokes. I shall go up there later on. For now I linger a little pretending I am a cool chick with my fizzy drink and my new brand of cigarettes. Actually, not new but very, very old. Or should I rather say ‘retro’ because I’m so hip.

 

There was a time when they shut down corn processing facilities in order to let the regional youths turn nights into days. We partied on crop-dusted concrete like there was no tomorrow. Danced to all kinds of undifferentiated music. This brand also tastes of a first kiss. Of a second, and a third. Being swept off my feet by an Irishman. Damn, Brash just bit me.

 

Wishing you inspirational smoke formations,

 

Mel