Thursday, April 12, 2007

rollin my own


this is one of my shorter days, as i must sling the drinks this evening, so this post wont be long, but at least it will be. its raining in new york, possibly gods way of mourning vonneguts death, possibly just too much condensation accumulated in the sky. either way the streets are drenched. so it goes.

im out of cigarettes but my coffee is warm. cant have it all i guess. i smoke loose tobacco, meaning i roll my own smokes. its become my method of choice over the last few years; i hardly ever buy traditional packs of cigarettes any more. i wish i had some clever philosophy behind this decision, but in truth, its because loose tobacco is cheaper, plus i can use it to roll spliffs, the method in which i smoke my trees. it also comes in handy when someone ask if they can bum a smoke. i shrug my shoulders and hold up my cigarette, displaying its limp, dented features, and explain that i roll my own. usually they curse under their breath and move on to the next person, but if they agree to having a rolled one, its common we have a small conversation about the joys of loose leaf, bonding over our shared preference, smug in the unique obscurity of it. cigarette hipsters. cancer douchebags. call us what you will.

ive never been loyal to one brand of cigarette until now. when i began smoking casually, back in the final days of high school, it was for the lightheaded rush i got. the deceptive sensation of feeling high that would last all of 90 seconds before crashing then needing a nap. in those days i think i smoked Newports, the minty death most of my high school buddies enjoyed. eventually i moved on to Marlboro lights, then Mediums, and finally the infamous Reds. i would buy a pack and it could last me an entire week. i was hardly committed to the venture back then. it was just something i thought made me look cool.

then a few girls i was seeing got me more involved in the practice. drugs were a big part of it too. everyone knows a cigarette taste better when your high, and life back then was all about getting high, especially with cute girls that smoked cigarettes. by the time i was a regular smoker, buying my own packs two times or more a week, the habit of lighting up after doing a line was practically second nature. i spent most of my days waiting for just that moment. i still wasnt dedicated to one brand though, i smoked whatever was available to me. i was a nicotine slut, a whore for anything with a filter. i didnt care how wide, long, brown, white, light, ultra-light, or chemical free it was, if it fit between my lips and produced ash, then i would smoke it.

i even had this one girlfriend (man, she gave the best head) that smoked Virginia Slims. you know, the really long and comically thin cigarettes you see people smoking on billboards, but never anyone smoking on the street. she would buy them by the carton, the first person id ever met to do so, and suck them down as if they gave her super powers. at least a pack a day. and we were only 19 or so. i would smoke her slims all the time, hyper aware of how feminine they looked dangling from my mouth, yet gloating in the idea that i was puffing on a stick so delicate and uncommon, it was as if i belonged to some exclusive club, albeit an exclusive club inhabited largely by old white women wearing mink stoles, but an exclusive club nonetheless.

i changed my brand constantly. for various reasons. because i wanted to try something new. because they were on sale. because i was trying to change my luck. because i was bored with the brand i was smoking. when i got to new york i began smoking parliments. for one it seemed the brand of choice among my age group (and lord knows im desperate to fit in), plus it had that cool recessed filter. i dont really know what function that recessed filter filled, but it was still kinda cool. you cant deny that.

these days though, im rolling my own. there is a ritual to it that i revel in. and it doesnt taste to bad either. if you ask me, ill roll you one, no worries. im generous like that. for real though. .i am.

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.