like this, about smoking and smokers:
my legitimate smoking history mainly involves smoking unfiltered cigarettes because they made me high as a kite on may day. camels were good. if i didn’t have any unfiltered camels, i’d rip the filter off a regular camel and smoke that. easy peasy. i'd usually smoke at the end of the day. at home. at night. in my room. in secret. with the door locked. two or at the most, sometimes three. a day.or this, which was eventually featured on a national lgbt website:
i haven't had a cigarette in about eight years. at times, it's been difficult to not take up again. i’d stub my toe and think “damnit, i wish i had a cigarette.” (i often think the same thing about crack.) but for the most part, once i decided to quit, i quit. same with caffeine, booze, marijuana, cocaine, and…mm-hmm…crack. those were harder. especially the crack. and the booze. and the cocaine.
what was not hard was quitting heroin. i never did heroin. and i lied about the caffeine. are you kidding? i tried to quit caffeine once and ended up huddled in a corner, clutching a mrs. beasley doll, sweating and shivering and mumbling something about magilla gorilla. then I had a sip of diet coke and suddenly all was right with the world. it's a true story.
but hey. this isn't about me, it's about you. you smokers. hi.
he was dressed modestly – worn-out blue jeans, work boots, a brown hooded sweatshirt – and had an intense, but warm, open face. no one spoke to him, no one approached him, yet he was anything but alone. there was a solace, a confidence. i caught his eye at one point, and something subtle passed between us. nothing sexual, but a welcome, if you will. as if he knew something i didn't, and was telling me everything was going to be okay. at the time i wasn't sure what it was, but i remember it vividly to this day.
after his pool game he perched in a corner, still by himself, and pulled out a small, silver harmonica. a harmonica. what a fantastical place this san francisco is, i thought. no one seemed to care or even notice when he began to play. the tune was sweet and simple, but it was a bluesy, haunted sound that filled the echoy openness of that quiet barroom, interrupted only by the muffled whistles and dings of a lone pinball machine in a back room somewhere. and eventually the jukebox playing the stones' "miss you".
it wasn't the absence of straight folk that i found intriguing about that neighborhood bar, or even the mysterious harmonica player in the corner. it was the stunning sense of freedom. of being at home. it's not something you feel as a gay person growing up in a small, rural town. it's not something you know enough to miss, either.