As a budding writer (otherwise known as an intern), I feel the need to stretch my legs and relax my mind when time allows. Seemingly obligatory in this line of work, and perhaps it’s an affectation, but I’m convinced that smoking helps clear one’s mind and get you prepared for the task at hand. Some may think it a tool of procrastination; I think otherwise.
As I walked around the block today, I couldn’t help but notice the other smokers around me. At one point in the past, I may have sheltered the smoke from a passerby, primarily out of embarrassment that I had stooped to such a societal low as to smoke (in public, none the less). Yet today, I found myself smoking proudly, as I tipped my nonexistent hat to my fellow smokers as they passed. People have preconceived notions of smokers…that they’re destined to develop lung cancer and either die or, possibly worse, depending who you ask, wind up with one of those scary voice boxes. Non-smokers don’t seem to understand that it is possible to smoke socially without becoming addicted.
This is all beside the point. I realized today, perhaps for the first time, that we’re a fascinating group, us smokers. I find something romantic in the idea of lighting up a cigarette as you sit down to write. Each inhalation provides inspiration. The dwindling cigarette challenges you to either finish your thought or fire up the next cigarette to carry you through the battlefield of ideas. It’s a race of sorts, you see…finishing your cigarette in unison with your writing. Something tells me this entry would be significantly more profound had I a cigarette in hand.
Celebrate your youth, my fellow degenerates. Bask in your mistakes. With each drag, drink in the inspiration of Hemingway, Eliot, Cummings, Steinbeck, and Serling.
It may be a short life, but damn if it won’t be well-lived.