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There’s something about Sunday night
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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Smoking

Tonight was the perfect weather for porch sitting. We had Meghan and Lauren over for grilling and s'mores. Afterwards, Lauren left, Meghan and Tim read magazines in the living room, and I sat on the porch, amidst some citronella candles, enjoying my two-cider buzz and an herbal cigarette. (And by "herbal," I really mean herbal--a blend Tim makes, with a lot of spicy weedy planty things, mostly mullen). It was a perfect, calm moment, and it made me think about smoking.

During one of the rare times my family owned a TV, the rules were "one hour of TV a week." My pick when I was little was--I don't know why--"Hollywood Classics of the 30s and 40s." So ingrained in my subconscious is the sheer glamour and sexiness that is smoking. Movie stars back then knew how to make it look so appealing.

This didn't particularly lure me into the addiction as a teen or anything, but it did lead me to date at least one person simply because of the way he looked with a cigarette in his fingers.

I met him in an English class. Sort of. He sat across the room from me, piercing blue eyes, during a time when I was receiving mysterious secret admirer notes. I marched up to him and asked if they were from him. He said, "no; I wish I had thought of it, though," and we went to a poetry reading together. We had a few dates, then he vanished off the face of the earth (an mysterious thing--in my opinion--for a college student mid-semester) for a few months (I won't even go into the psychotic lengths to which I went to locate him). When he turned back up, it was obvious we were unsuited to each other, that it was the smoking that lured me in. It was the satisfaction and the ease, the downright sexiness of it.

I haven't dated many smokers, though. I prefer to admire it from afar. The first one, though, broke my heart, and after, I took up smoking because I missed him. An odd thing to start at 25, 26. It didn't take. I only smoked for about four months. But in some ways it gave me purpose. Not purpose exactly--something to do with myself in a bar.

During my single times in Chicago, I pushed myself into solo activities. Movies, cafes, even dinners at nice restaurants, those I accomplished with ease. But I always wanted to be able to sit in a bar and have a drink by myself. It never really worked because I didn't know what to do. I didn't go to sports bars, so I couldn't pass the time watching the game; I never went anyplace enough that the bartender would shoot the breeze with me; and the bars I frequented were always too dark to read in. Smoking solved my problem. Thus my greatest accomplishment in that regard was going to my favorite swanky bar to have a dirty martini and a few cigarettes. No one came up to light my cigarette or offer to buy me a second drink, which was something I halfway expected due to movies, but since I didn't really like people approaching me anyway, it was ok.

Then I dated a hard-core smoker for a few months, and it really lost its glamour. If I drink enough, I'll crave a smoke, but in the end, it's not a good thing.

The herbal mix, though, it's good at the right moments. Like right now, in the cooling fall night, under a nearly full moon, with a happy belly and a cider in my hand.

4 Comments:

Blogger jamie said...

LE, what do I have to do to get my hands on some of Tim's cigs? I will send cash, trinkets, whatever.

1:47 PM  
Blogger LE said...

I'll find out. I don't know if he gets the blend online somewhere or picks the plants and dries them himself (wouldn't surprise me). We are running low, though, so I need to look into getting more.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I don't really smoke either.
Shortly after I turned 21 I really wanted to know why I know so many men who go out to bars by themselves and have a great time. So I tried it. I can't really comprehend why, but it really is so much fun, especially if you know at least a few bars in your city. I must tell you that I feel like Im having a better time and doing the things I want to do (be it meet new people or spend time alone) than when I go out with a friend or two.
Smoking in now banned in Austin bars, so lots of people seem to 'not know what to do' when they drink. I rarely smoke, but do enjoy it when I have drank a lot.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I don't really smoke either.
Shortly after I turned 21 I really wanted to know why I know so many men who go out to bars by themselves and have a great time. So I tried it. I can't really comprehend why, but it really is so much fun, especially if you know at least a few bars in your city. I must tell you that I feel like Im having a better time and doing the things I want to do (be it meet new people or spend time alone) than when I go out with a friend or two.
Smoking in now banned in Austin bars, so lots of people seem to 'not know what to do' when they drink. I rarely smoke, but do enjoy it when I have drank a lot.

1:24 PM  

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