There were more reasons not to smoke than there ever was to pick up the habit, so I never did and I never thought about it. The older you get, however, you run out of reasons for why you shouldn’t do things. If anything, there’s a growing sense of urgency for why you should; there are parts of me that are unbearably obvious, unlived. Striking, this relationship between innocence and insecurity.
As I sat on the back of my blue sofa, bare feet upon the window sill, looking out through the open window into the white night, snow falling, I thought about how life might be different if I stopped stopping myself from having experiences. I wondered – as I drew a drag from a cigarillo – how many times in my 34 years I cut myself short rather than giving some slack. I breathed out, watching the smoke wash over my face before it got swept away by the wind. I closed my eyes and inhaled again and again and again.
I understood instantly why people enjoy smoking. There is something comforting about it, like the way whiskey can warm your insides. In between sips of the brown water, I was feeling both warm and comforted by the taste of alcohol and tobacco in my mouth, the papery feel of the short, narrow cigar between my fingertips, the sight of the red ember glowing, and the smell of smoke on my skin and clothes. Ten stories below, the sound of people laughing.
It was a perfect moment, sitting inside of this snow globe, watching the trains come in. Happy.