... there is nothing like smoking, nothing that is as tangental and almost incidental but still so central to the way you move and think and use your hands, there is nothing that will fill time and space and emptiness like smoking does.--------stand/alone/bitch- see above 





If watching is educational and copying what other do is the best way to look cool then I guess this is about my first attempt to look cool.  Or act cool or maybe give the appearance that I was, perhaps,  in the suburbs of cool.  

The truth is I started smoking because she smoked and because she did it with flair and it was one of a dozen habits that she had that I envied.  

She was the type of smoker who never dropped an ash.  The sort who could curl smoke rings over her head effortlessly.   An ironic halo, she would say.  Ok, I thought she might say that, but she never did.  At least not while I was around.  


She smoked while she read her russian paperbacks.  She smoked as she watched passerbys with disdain.   She smoked while she drank jet black coffee or shots of bourbon.  Always holding the dart in the left hand, wrist bent back at a sharp angle so it appeared that she wanted the flame to work its way onto her fingertips.  But not quite.

She never coughed and never needed a light.   It was as if she had an endless supply of already lit Camels in her purse at all times.   Magical.


The last time I saw her was one afternoon a week after I had picked up my first pack:

"It's an ugly habit.  I would quit if I were you."  


I didn't know which habit she was talking about.