*** I realized that I am shamefully, woefully behind on my own writing schedule and expectations. So I’m offering two pieces today. This is the first, created after witnessing a customer pack his cigarettes the other day. It brought back a flood of memories that I hastily wrote down as watching that simple action drew me down into the recesses of my brain, accessing files that are twenty, twenty-five and even twenty-eight years old. Not even sure what to call this category of writing. The second, is a poem I wrote before my epiphany of apparent posting laziness. Enjoy.***

Packing cigarettes is important.

It condenses the tobacco in the cigarette. They say doing it that way can give one a better buzz and makes a thicker smoke, but I never really knew the difference when I smoked. I used to pack smokes for my Dad and my friends. It didn’t matter if they bought a hard or soft package. Do they still do that, sell hard and soft packs?


I was good at it. I had some sort of obsessive-compulsive/anal retentive ability.

Flipping the pack over, holding it in my right hand, I’d begin lightly smacking the pack against my left palm.

Pack, pack, pack. Rotate 90 degrees, pack, pack, pack.
Rotate 90 degrees, pack, pack, pack.
Rotate 90 degrees, pack, pack, pack.

I’d drift off absentmindedly sometimes, the program running somewhere in the hind-parts of my brain as I thought of other things.

Pack, pack, pack. Rotate 90 degrees, pack, pack, pack.

I don’t miss smoking.

But I do miss the scent of the first drag; when the paper and tobacoo are ignited for the first time and that long drag is taken. I love that smell. There’s just something about the paper and tobacco mingling under fire for the first time.

Savory and sweet.

Make a three-wick candle out of that, Bath and Body Works…


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