Every now and then I'll get a cigar to smoke....every now and then. I don't know why. Perhaps it's a phallic thing. Or maybe a strange craving. In actuality, I don't smoke.
My father is a horrible chain smoker. He had given it up for several years but his last duty station in Camp Lejeune, NC sparked his need for the sticks. I think cigarette smoke is embedded in my DNA now growing up surrounded by smokers.
When I was three or four years old, I had a horrible lesson in smoking. My father and one of his friends were rebuilding a car's engine. I remember playing outside in the yard, watching the two men talking and working. Throughout the day they would light cigarette after cigarette. I watched them flick the buttes into the yard. I had a habit when younger of running over to a still smoking butte and stomping it out. For some reason, at one point I was too fascinated in it. I picked it up, put it to my lips, and puffed. My father caught me immediately, and I was terrified from his yelling. He swooped me up and carried me into the house. He yelled to my mother what I had done and went on and on about how I shouldn't smoke. I remember standing next to the end table closest to the door. He was sitting in his chair and lit a cigarette. He put it in the ashtray, continuing with his rant about what horrible thing I had done. Then he told me to pick up the cigarette and smoke it. He was going to make me smoke the entire thing. I was so ashamed of my impetuous act. I was scared of what I was to do next. And I refused. I stood there like a statue, frozen in my standing spot. My father took a long drag of the cigarette, pulled me into his lap, sealed his lips to mine, and exhaled all of the smoke into my lungs. The burning sensation was unbearable and the embarrassment was worse.
For a long period of my life, I would dream about cigarettes. I would have horrible nicotine cravings. Yet, cigarette smoke used to burn my eyes. And I still can't stand the smell of my clothes after being in a smoke filled club or restaurant. Even stranger though, I still enjoy when a person first lights up a cigarette. That initial hit of smoke from a freshly lit cigarette satiates some strangely adopted second-hand smoke vice.
I had a friend who smoked whenever we were out. I actually tried smoking during the brief friendship we had. I couldn't get the hang of it. I didn't know how to inhale. I just couldn't do it. The first time I tried to smoke pot, nothing happened because I couldn't get the smoke in my lungs.
Cigarettes is definitely not my thing...but every now and then I just need one.