hi, blog. i haven't forgotten about you, i've just been working on this one story that has taken me over. but a couple days ago i was explaining to a friend that i pay attention to things, try them out, in order to be able to write about them better. she laughed when i said i was attempting to be a smoker, mostly so i could write about a smoker. and then yesterday i wrote this. just to see if i could:
I was sitting in the library writing in my journal, but really avoiding human contact, when I caught myself spacing out thru the window. As I regained focus and actually looked at the place my eyes fell, I noticed a girl sitting on the low wall just outside, smoking a cigarette. I looked closer and recognized Sally, all alone, seemingly unnoticed, enjoying her solitude and her solitary act. I meant to look away to maintain the privacy she believed was hers, but I found I couldn't. Why, you ask? Because she herself was so focused on smoking, it couldn't but draw my attention. I was entranced, as if I was watching an absorbing film. Because hers was not the focus of someone who was unsure of what they were doing, nor of an addict single-mindedly feeding their fix, but of a connoisseur reveling in a distinct pleasure. I had the feeling she only smoked in private. stolen moments with a lover couldn't be more enjoyable.
Let me illustrate: between drags she seemed to meditate on the trail of smoke that drifted lazily from the tip, seeing signs in the curls it made of its own accord on the windless day. She would then bring the filter to her lips with intention, slowly drawing breath, her cheeks sucked in, till she was full. Replete. She'd then pull the cigarette away from her mouth, allowing a little puff of smoke to escape, but only for a second. As she inhaled it back, her lips pantomimed a kiss [muah]. She'd hold her breath for a few seconds before relenting, her tongue flitting to her lips during the pause. then the long slow exhale, in which her shoulders settled, her chin tilted up, and her mouth formed a tiny 'o' allowing the narrowest stream of smoke to flow in a straight line toward the middle distance where her eyes had been trained throughout. This same ritual, over and over, never once lost its appeal for her. or me. I marveled at her fingers as they trembled slightly, holding the cigarette at an angle to keep the elongating ash in place. My eyes were held captive by the way the smoke would curl around her lips in a tight billow, wanting to stretch further, just as it got sucked back in and reformed with a purpose, then expelled to be traced into dissipated oblivion.
At that moment, watching her there, I fell. For the length of time it took her to smoke that cigarette, she had me, utterly and completely. I was her creature. More accurately, I was her cigarette. Or at least I was burning to be treated as dearly, in her possession, under her gaze. But then she crushed it out, tenderly, and threw it away. I stared after it, feeling its pain, wracking my brain for ways of avoiding such rejection, vowing to last longer in her affection, unsure if I would be regarded as fondly, willing to strive to give as much pleasure.
She walked away without a backward glance and as she passed out of my sight I shook my head, squinting, getting the smoke out of my eyes. I looked down at what I'd been writing five minutes before with incomprehension, disdain, a troubled frown marking my features. I flipped the page, and started writing. this flowed out.