Thursday, July 17, 2008


TMT leaves New York in about a week. I'm currently reading Kerouac's On the Road to fully embrace the history of our westward move. In an excerpt I read this morning, Kerouac was looking back fondly at his home, described NYC as holy, brown smoke. I want to pick up with that last part.

I feel sort of lucky to have experienced the last bit of smoking in New York. These days, they've banned smoking nearly everywhere. The filthy habit/established social occasion has moved out. Probably a good thing, but some of my favorite collegiate memories show me with a cigarette in my hand.

Sitting on an icy bench in Brooklyn, getting ready for class with a sour black coffee and a smoke. Even had those fingerless gloves so I could do it unencumbered. Gathering, talking to people I wouldn't normally have. "Do you have an extra..." I got two boyfriends that way. Late nights on the Alibi deck giving away my whole pack because I was more drunk and generous as the night wore on. Being asked by the sickly transvestite on Myrtle Ave for a light. Not having one for her this time. But I would catch her later because she was always outside of the Penny Candy Bodega. Then there was that nighttime Bonanza Bus ride from Port Authority to RI. A crazy man ran up the dark aisle past me and stabbed a sleeping stranger. After the offender was flattened and carted off, the entire bus stood outside smoking. We lined up in the breakdown along 95 at what must have been midnight, looking at all the headlights and sending a big cloud up.

I don't smoke anymore, and wouldn't ever again. All my friends who did, have since broken the habit, which is maybe why I can look back on all the gross inhaling with fondness. But I can, and do. Do you?

1 comment:

  1. i think this is why i got asthma! thanks for nothing, the gardens.