Tag Archives: cigarettes

Stained Glass Summers

I had a lovely summer, finally with some free time and I graduated from college, so I’d chalk that up to a good time.


Church Street milling with people mid day is where I found myself, disappearing into the throng, walking with no place to go until I met a friend and we sat ourselves down to catch up on everything we’d been missing, long been kept from enjoying time off, no pressing deadlines or harried hellos and goodbyes. We’d been through some hell of a ringer and came out clean on the other side. And in that late afternoon, we sat outside a cafe, smelling of cinammon in the air. The smell of nicotine intermingled as we sucked on pale white cigarettes, vestiges of lipstick with names like wine festival and bold crimson caressing the tips. And I remember thinking, summer smells so sweet.

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 Light filtered through kaleidoscope tinted sky lights, and the light buzz of beer was coloured with reds, blues and bright yellows. Behind me were little wooden houses, brightly painted and in rows perched on shelves lined till the ceiling where the colours of the stained glass danced upon them as if for tiny little people. And on many occasions, we all feel tinier than we are but with a couple of beers in hand and bowling drunkenly afterwards, the brightly coloured bowling balls sloping ever always to the right, we could not have felt any bigger than at that very moment.

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Trees blooming with pink flowers are such a sight to see and one of my favourites, even when a tram is zipping me by so fast I couldn’t hold on to take a picture fast enough. Thankfully I did. And with a lake spread out before my eyes and fishermen waiting for the long haul not too far away, I felt like a tiny dot among the crowd, in a way that made me realize we’re all trying and we’re all okay.

Parking Lots

I waited round by the parking lot, leaning against a Range Rover parked on the lowest level. The lights overhead flickered and danced, reminding me of horror films. Thrusting my hand in my coat pocket, I pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.

Always good for the nerves.

The breeze picked up and the lit flame swayed. Balancing the stick between my lips, I inadvertently thought of all the ‘smoking kills’ adverts. The ones displaying gruesome spew accumulating in lungs of chain smokers.

To hell with them.

I lit it up and took a slow drag, exhaling poisoned air.

“Thought you quit.” A voice reverberated in the empty space, hollow sounding. It was the kind of voice that would do well in those pesky adverts. The kind of voice you’d choose for your conscience because even though it sometimes said the exact things you didn’t want to hear, it at least sounded good. That was Harry’s voice.

“I say that every week.”

“Yeah, you do.” He sighed, standing next to me.

We stood like that for a few minutes, the sound of his shoes scraping in horizontal lines disrupting the silence.

“Everything is fucked.” I muttered.

“What happened?”

“You’re not here anymore.” I stubbed out the cigarette, crushing it under foot. “You don’t nag me about my smoking or any of my other habits… I lost my oldest friend. So I guess, with each cigarette, I’m closer to seeing you. Closer to resuming those talks at 5 am about which shit kicker band we ought to go see next down at the bar because all of them were pretty terrible but the drinks made them sound okay…wow, we used to drink quite a lot. I never thought about it. How many times did we stumble back to our places drunk?”

There was no response. Then I remember he had too many whiskies one night. That was all it took.

The moment of insanity had passed.

I really wished it hadn’t.

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Humanity in Smokes

I see a beggar squatting on a rag, in the exact same spot every morning on my way to college and a splattering of meager change before him. He was as thin as paper and dehydrated from the sun exposure. I thought for certain, I knew how he’d spend his charity.

But I thought wrong. The next day I saw him as usual…

smoking a cigarette.

I suppose that’s what he wanted the change for. And that is what made me sad.

It made me think of how easily humanity can lose the plot that is life. How we spend our time, love and effort for all the wrong things and the real tragedy is how we are doomed to never realize that they are wrong.