Storm.3.1.14

Smoking Man wants...

Blog Post created by Storm.3.1.14 on Mar 19, 2018

He steps out onto the sidewalk, into the morning sunrise, and lights yet another cigarette. The cloud around his head smells of butane and ash and burning paper, as do his clothes and hair and beard. As he walks along the sidewalk towards the rising sun, he passes me. I am smelling of soap and shaving gel, dryer sheets and spray starch. He catches a whiff of Lacroix Noir cologne and extra-dark, French-pressed espresso.

 

And he wants what I have.

  

 

On a humid and scorching summer afternoon, he sits alone at a café table that is baking on a tile patio, in the sunlight. His shirt is gummy and damp against his sweaty torso, and the nape of his neck is stinging in the heat. But, smoking is not allowed inside the café. And, as another bead of perspiration drips off the tip of his nose, and the waitress frowns at the ashes on his ketchup-smeared plate, he spots me inside the café: cool and peaceful, dry and fresh, enjoying lunch.

 

And he wants what I have.

 

  

As evening comes to the streets of town, he is driving home from work. At a stop light, he smokes with his windows down. He puffs cigarette smoke out the window, but it only mixes with noxious car exhaust and acrid diesel fumes, creating an even more toxic plume that wafts right back into the vehicle. I am stopped in the lane beside him, drumming on my steering wheel and joyously lip-synching to ABBA. My windows are rolled up, and my air conditioning is puffing out frosty-fresh breezes. And, when the light turns green and I drive away, he fumbles with the cigarette, drops it onto his seat, and burns another lesion into the sooty upholstery.

 

And he wants what I have.

 

 

It’s another morning at home, alone, and he lights the 8th menthol from the new pack. He inhales, and is worried. The cough was a bit worse after breakfast, and the little stabbing chest pain under his left shoulder blade was there all night. His feet never seem to get warm now, and the cigarette feels weird in his fingers because the tips don’t “feel right”. They feel numb. His eyes are heavy, brows furrowed with concern. The tip of his tongue pokes at the yellowed and aching tooth in the back of his mouth, and he begins to wonder if maybe - just maybe - something is finally going wrong inside him.

 

And he desperately wants to do what I have done.

 

 

Were you not there? At some time in the past, were you not ashamed of smelling of smoke? Of lighting up in public? Of freezing or sweating outside? Of being frowned upon? Of standing in an alley to get your fix? Of worrying, in those quiet moments - alone, inside yourself - that maybe it was too late already?

 

But, my friends, are you not here now? Finally? At last? In this new place that’s free of cigarettes, but full of promise? Are you not here?

 

Thousands of smokers want what you have right now - even if it's just a week smoke-free! And, not long ago, you wanted it, too…and you came here and got it. (See? Even you wanted to be the you you are right now!) So, hold your ground. Stay strong. Protect what you already have. Because this is where you wanted to be back in the days when you wanted to be someplace better. 

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