Cigarette Blues

by Noise Pollution

The reason I started smoking cigarettes was to set me apart from the Mormon mecca I grew up in. It was a substitute for getting a tattoo, or gauging my ears. The long hair and pessimistic attitude weren’t enough; I needed just one more thing to complete the picture. Sure, the picture I painted was one of a delinquent, but at least I wasn’t religious. I had that much.

Now that I’m sitting at a park bench by myself, I realize the other reason cigarettes existed for me. They added weight to the meaningless moments of silence in my life. If nothing was happening, I could at the very least bring myself a little closer to death. They gave purpose and direction to my loneliness. Cigarettes are gone from my life, now. Now I sit here, and it’s nothing more than waiting to go home. Smoking always felt more like waiting for a miracle. I would choke on the filthy air and look through the curls of smoke wafting through my fingers, trying to see some sort of metaphor behind the haze.

The air is clear here. It’s not clean, but it’s clear. The only thing in my vision now is a perfect view of reality, the way it really is. Dramatic tension is an entirely human invention, thought up for telling stories and lies. It doesn’t really exist.

And when I’m alone, I’m actually alone. There are no poems hanging in the air, there are no metaphors waiting to be understood.