The fumble and the spark. That’s what I’ll miss, that little ritual. Matches: both cheap and pretentious, a difficult combination to come by. The stick breathes gently on its own, streaming into the air. Its mouth is a little fire.
Occupation for my hands and lips, to keep me out of trouble. A calming thing. Once, a friend told me that the breaths you take while smoking are similar to the breathing techniques they teach you for managing panic attacks. I can believe that. The number of times I’ve sat holding tears in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Steady, steady. The light shaking in the dark.
I knew a man who could roll a cigarette while riding a bicycle. I wonder if learning to roll would be a good idea. Cheaper, and an even better ritual. Lay out the papers, the baccie, the tips. Thumbs and index fingers.
Everyone tells me not to give up just yet. That this thing is stressful enough without adding to my own trouble. They don’t know that I only started last year. Who knew that at twenty-six I would still be susceptible to peer pressure?
Even now, when anyone else lights up I follow suit. It’s become automatic. They reach for their papers and I reach for my lighter. When I’m around people I go up to ten a day.
I blow out my match just as it burns my fingertip. Take a deep breath and try not to think about any of it.
Flick ash, blow smoke and watch the hazy moon.