My First Cigarette

By: zelda253
I was sixteen, and enamored with the idea of beatniks, and I wanted to identify with them. I fantasized about hanging out in coffee houses, reading and writing poetry in some frenzied inspiration, being an artist and casually puffing away at a cigarette. I had been doing water colors all afternoon on the porch pretending I was one such artist. It occurred to me that it would be easy to reach into a drawer where my parents kept their cigarettes and grab a pack. They shared the same brand, so I assumed it would be easy for them to lose count of exactly how many were there.

Upstairs, I locked the bathroom, opened the windows and sat on the toilet seat. I lit one. I couldn't really believe I was doing it. In my whole 16 years of life I had felt nothing but disgust for my parent's dirty habit, and here I was doing the same thing. It tasted weird. I wondered how you were supposed to inhale. It seemed awkward and foreign to my sensibilities when I held it to my face with the smoke curling into my eyes. Very tentatively I sucked on the tip. Instantly I felt dizzy and my chemistry changed.

I told myself that "Well, that was fun, so now I know. I don't need this in my life," and I dismissed it . The next day, right around the same time, I got to thinking it would feel good to do it again. This time, I locked the bedroom door and lay down so that I wouldn't get so dizzy. By the third and fourth day, I told myself, "I can't believe this is happening."

My body and emotions had begun to crave these little smoking sessions. It had nothing to do with my social life, it was just my own secret "feel good" thing. It gave me something to look forward to each day. Soon, I began having two of these sessions per day, and then three or more. I did not actually introduce it into my social life until the following year when I went to college and spotted a cigarette machine selling them for 35 cents a pack. I thought, "Wow. I'm grown up now. I am being told that it is an okay thing for me to do and I don't have the humiliation of sneaking them any more."

I was launched.
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