SMOKING A CIGARETTE
BY ADAM DONNELLY
Kato sits down on the steps outside of our apartment. She has brought everything that she needs for the occasion; a pack of Parliament lights, a yellow lighter, and her keys. She opens the pack and removes a cigarette and puts it in her mouth. She lights it quickly as if she is in a hurry, or perhaps afraid that someone will see what she is doing. The first inhalation is a significant moment in the life of cigarette smoker. Her brow is furrowed and the concentration is apparent. It does not take a great amount of effort for Kato to light a cigarette, but she pays close attention nevertheless. Failure to light ones cigarette in a given situation can lead to shame and embarrassment. This would not be one of those situations because I am the only observer, but I suppose you can never be too careful.
The end of the cigarette burns a fiery orange as the suction formed by her lips ensures that the cigarette becomes lit and fully functional. In an instant the cigarette is out of her mouth and held by her side between two fingers. She exhales finally, and only now does she break from her mini Zen cigarette lighting experience to pass me a glance. The thin white smoke wafts around her for a moment and then rises back over her head. It is a warm and clear night. Summer has yet to give way to autumn. The stillness of the night causes the smoke to linger before it glides away to reveal Kato sitting with her toes curled around the cement steps of our stoop. Her knees are pressed together and one arm is folded over her lap. The dim streetlight gives her tan skin an attractive sheen and a thought occurs to me. Years of scientific research and millions of deaths have confirmed the horrible results of smoking cigarettes and graphic images of fear and suffering have been implemented into the consciousness of the modern mind. Despite all this, a young girl sitting on her stoop, on a quiet street, on a beautiful night, with the smoke rising above her brunette hair, will always be sexy.