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Nick picked up the pack of cigarettes from off the kitchen table and took out a cigarette.  As he replaced the box of Newports on the table, he slid the cigarette between his lips.  He sat searching his pockets for a lighter as the cigarette dangled from his mouth.  It moved around furiously between his lips until finally Nick’s hand reached up in frustration and grabbed it, asking anybody for a light.

As my hand reached out towards him, he threw the cigarette back between his lips and leaned forward.  It stuck straight out of his mouth waiting for the fire.  It was nothing without the flame.  My thumb ran down the top of the lighter and made a useless spark.  Repeatedly it sparked.

Then a glorious glow of fire that instantly set off a chain reaction.  Nick’s head leaned closer as my hand reached out just a bit further.  The flame engulfed the tip and the cigarette released all its tension as the smoke filled the air.  The lighter went out.  The fire kept burning.

The cigarette needed Nick to live and it glowed with life.  It released all the stress that was sealed inside for so long.  Nick breathed and it burned.  It let go of everything inside of it out into the air.  The pain of living and struggling to remain alive that was bottled up inside was finally being released in a passionate outpouring of regret and sincere sadness.  The feeling of an enormous loss.  It all filled the air in a cloudy smoke.

And as quickly as it began, it ended in a dirty ashtray.

1996

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Categories: Old Stuff, Other Seeds | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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