Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Smokers' Lungs

I have developed a new appreciation... better yet, understanding for smokers.
It's 5am, and my brain is running rampant so bare with me.

Let's set the scene:

I'm copying statistic notes in a friends room around 3:30 this morning when the electricity in our building goes out. Lucky for me, his window faces Broad St. so I finished taking notes by the window- allowing the light to make his notes visible. I spent the following night in the Tech Center with the intention of leaving from there for my 10:40 class- only to take a nap around 9am, wake up around 10:10 with 30 minutes to spare, go back to sleep, and wake back up at 12:15 in the afternoon. As a result, I missed my first class, was dead tired, and I slept my day away.

Back to the program: I finish taking notes, and now I'm preparing to walk to the Tech Center to work on the same paper I should have done the night before... for real this time. My roommate has to hold the door open for me while I pack my bag because the lights in our hallway are still on for some reason (despite all the electricity being out), and unlike my friend from earlier- our window faces another apartment building and brings no light into our room. Anywho, I'm walking down the stairwell at 4am and have the sudden urge to smoke a Clove on the way there.

I was introduced to these by Mr. Wallace and actually had 3 on me compliments of a not so old acquaintance/new friend, Terence. In the past few days, I've smoked twice- but whose counting? Whatever the case, I borrow a lighter from the security guard in our building, light it outside, return the lighter, and begin my trek to the Tech Center. While walking, I begin to wonder if I now consider myself a smoker. I have officially "borrowed a lighter". I hate the way that sounds, and I'm wondering if I've fooled myself into believing that I'm not a real smoker because it's a Clove, not a real cigarette. Better yet, I'm wondering if this is just a phase I'm going through.

After a few pulls, this all seems like nonsense. All I know is that Cloves give me this calming feeling. It's like a mild high. And it occurs to me that American cigarettes may have the same effect which is why people smoke them when they're stressed. I don't plan on experiencing their effects first hand for comparison, but it was just a thought. (Again, I'm telling myself that Cloves are a better type of smoke... or something) I was stressing in my head because I slept the day away and didn't do some of the things I had planned, but this all washes away. After the first pulls set in, I was just a college student, walking to the Tech at 4 in the morning, smoking. I pass a few people and I wonder if seeing me smoking triggers any thoughts in their heads. I know a thought or two might cross my mind when I see others smoking. Damn the worries that come with the way people perceive you!

I get to the Tech, I'm not finished with the Clove, a fellow smoker sitting down gives a slight smile and tells me the seats aren't wet (it was raining earlier)- so I take a seat and finish smoking. I felt like we shared this common bond. Weird, right? Another thought hits me. I hate the way smoking makes the back of my throat burn. However, I let the burn set in today and waited for the feeling to pass so I could really inhale. The burning was only momentary and it made me think, "this too shall pass". In short, I compared it to the other various trials I go through. It only hurts for a moment. Just as soon as this thought comes, I've clearly inhaled too much because I'm coughing. Guess that was God telling me, "Na, it's nothing like that."

At this time, I take a silent vow to myself that if I am, indeed, a smoker- I will not be the type of smoker who puts their cigarettes out anywhere, leaves burnt marks on everything, and carelessly discards their cigarettes on the ground. Of course, I look down and see a bunch of cigarettes at my feet. I can't help but wonder, what was their owners story, what were they going through when they lit their cigarette, in what area of their life did they need calming? Maybe I'm thinking too much.. but it be like that sometimes.

I also notice the value of my hands and compare smoking to my poetry. I hold my pen between two fingers when putting my feelings on paper. That is the way I relieve myself. I hold Cloves between two fingers and the effect of the cigarette gives me relaxation. I don't know. My only hope is to not develop smokers' lungs. After all, my voice is my most powerful weapon. What good would it do me if it's being transmitted through a plastic object placed in the middle of my throat?

A Smoker?


  1. Couple things...

    The power mustv'e went out in the whole area bcuz it sure did in 1300...grl wait til i tell u about my night

    I LOVE cloves...

    Was this written b4, after, or during u are suppoed to b finishing this paper?

    ...on my way to the tech boo

  2. This is so interesting to me...
    Half my friends have tried weed or smoke it; some of them smoke cigs; some are drinkers; a tiny few are completely clean, I being among the latter.

    I went through a drinking stage in my life, and it was no fun. I did it to be social. I did it because I was depressed. All I know is that I'm glad I snapped out of it, and I know I don't NEED to drink to be crazy...I can do that completely unassisted, sober.

    However, I don't really have a vice. I've never smoked anything in my life, but I know I will one day. I know I feel completely bitter when I'm walking to class and people are blocking the path, blowing nicotine clouds in my way. I'm always laughing at how those T.R.U.T.H. commercials make smokers look like fools. I find myself annoyed when my boyfriend talks about weed, but it's not in me to chastise him for it. So I'm sorta lost amongst it all.

    I feel myself being in the same "on-the-fence" condition as you are eventually. Smoking anything but a real cigarette, holding it between two fingers like a pen. I have a lot a pride, and that forces me to handle my stress the "normal" way...but sometimes I do envy that calm that others feel when they're sitting out, having a smoke. And I've always thought that smoking can "look" good, lol, on some people.

    Wow...anyway. I typed all this to let you know I appreciate you sharing this experience because it really makes me think...a lot. Toast to experiences bound to come.

    -Chucked Deuce-
    Naive Little Be


  3. "Everything in moderation."
    -Terrence during an in depth conversation over a clove

  4. uh. A tad bit insulted. smokers dont think of anything when they light but... "body says light one so light one now"... and thats it. A feeling comes over you and then smoking is what happens after. I began to smoke when in middle school. b/c it was cool. and then i became addicted. i smoked weed, cigs, and a few forms of ciggars. i've quit the weed and the cigs (mostly) and im finding it really hard to quit the ciggars. Dont judge me please. thanx

  5. ::said to B of BBC (in a VERY sarcastic tone)::

    Because youre the voice of all smokers? riiiight. lol

    you know i love you guhl.