{ Tuesday, October 18, 2005 }


Someone asked me recently if I remember my first cigarette... I started to reply to him directly and then I decided it would make a nice little entry.

I always thought of myself as a smoker, long before I ever actually had a cigarette.

I do remember my first cigarette. I was thirteen or fourteen and my sister, Shelly, gave it to me. She was trying to quit (she was 12 or 13 at the time) and so she wanted me to smoke near her for some reason that only an adolscent could understand... and then she tried to teach me to inhale and shit. I think she really enjoyed her moment in the big sister role.

The next time was when I was fifteen or sixteen. A "cool" girl at my school invited me to skip out of Christian Service early (we volunteered at an inner city elementary school, Christian Service was mandatory at my high school) to have a smoke. And so I did and we hid behind a van across the street and I coughed and got dizzy and really did nothing to help myself look cool.

When I was sixteen (a college freshman), my roommate, The Codon, and I used to buy a pack of cigarettes and then chain smoke them either in front of the window with a fan or driving around the Kentucky backroads in my car. It was how we reacted to stress. Neither of us really inhaled.

Then when I was seventeen, my boyfriend at the time smoked and I started smoking with him. He was really a pusher about it. He seemed to delight in corrupting me or whatever. My other boyfriend at the time HATED it, and I enjoyed that too. But I only smoked a tiny bit on the weekends away from school. I kept two cigarettes in my dorm room for "just in case". I'm not sure in case of what.

I really started smoking, like buying a pack of cigarettes and smoking them, when I was eighteen and working at Camp. Smoking... well, going to the smoking area was a sure-fire way to run into someone and also not be exposed to any campers and only very rarely one of the people in charge. And actually smoking while hanging out down there seemed like an appropriate course of action...

Then I went back to college all "I only smoked a pack a week at Camp. That's how much I'll smoke now." Except that was completely and totally not the case and from then on, I've been a smoker...

posted by mary ann 7:55 AM