Sunday, October 25, 2009

In Defense of Smoking

First off, the overview: see Bogie, drunk in his own restaurant, an American ex-pat in Morocco, lamenting, "Of all the gin joints..." Who is he without the eternal flame of that pale cigarette dangling out of his perfectly old-timey lips? A patriot. Steve McQueen would be a model driver; Barack Obama would win the Nobel Peace Prize twice; and (here's the seal to my deal) Katharine Hepburn would be Catholic. With all the indoctrination, can you blame us our death wishes?
I nearly stepped on a finch carcass today. I thought, "She is A-OK," because she's not smoking; I am.
We know life when we see death.
We nod at each other on the streets: doesn't matter that he's a sixty-something Mexican gardener with Gaelic crosses tattooed on his forearms. I imagine the gardener and I running through blossoming fields of alfalfa (or maybe just strolling because the pollen makes us sniffle and we already lost most of our lung capacity), knowing we will be friends forever because, if he's ever short, I have his back, just like that night in Seattle:
me all bitter because I spent twenty dollars on orgasmic rum then killed it watching three hours of British accents in the theater, when, walking home, up staggers a man without pants, and he wants a cigarette, and I don't even care that he's lost his pants, I'm happy I made a friend, and then he asks me for two cigarettes
and I say, "What?"
and he asks me for two cigarettes
and I say, "You're killing me, man"
but give him two anyway, so you may criticize the irony a situation in which I'm killing us both, but you should understand: this is a display of loving solidarity, and maybe, if Jesus were lucky enough to experience American Spirits, he would've given everyone smokes instead of a clear shot at his other cheek or five thousand fish or crosses to bear.
As Jack Kerouac said so sagely and probably drunkenly:
"There's nothing better in the world than a roll-your-own deeply enjoyed," and
"in fact laughter is solemn."


  1. this was beautiful. i am literally laughing out loud. i'm gonna go smoke a cigarette right now, because i still have a few left...