Following that night I’d meet back up with Mr. Grennan and smoke cigars on the beach, or along cobble stone walks whenever he’d come to town. It was a ritual, a tradition, I enjoyed it. I haven’t smoked much since I moved to the east coast, but the guys always find it sexy, cool, their eyes get wide then small as they grin and nod their heads in approval. I don’t care much what they think, but I find it interesting. Is it really still considered cool to smoke? This weekend I shared a cigar on a roof top, over looking the city with friends, and then again the next night, I shared a minty French cigarette, as I took a stroll along the Brooklyn promenade, I enjoyed each one, each flavoring my memories.
I was raised to hate the smell of smoke. My grandparents smoked, my uncles and aunts smoked. The addiction ripped through my family and clings to them still. My papa died a horribly, slow and painful death caused by his beloved “cancer sticks.” Cigarettes clouded my childhood. Although, I remember about a year or two after he died, someone close to me on the street lit up right behind me. They practically blew the smoke in my face, a disgusting gesture. However, instead of my normal rage induced response, I was instantly taken back to my papa.. my grandfather that loved me and called me his favorite. The memory was so fresh, it felt real and present. I do not enjoy when people blow their hazardous debris in my face, but I do enjoy that familiar smell, the taste, it reminds me and strangely comforts me. I do not promote the habit, but I do enjoy making the decision, on occasion, to enjoy a smoke, perhaps on a damp night or a memorable evening.