I was always a pretty good kid. Aside from some precocious misbehavior (escaping from my crib, getting my head stuck in a dresser, replying ‘peep’ to my mother’s warning that she didn’t want to hear another peep out of me, and so on), I mostly spent my time reading, writing, or having misadventures in the back yard. I’m what you might call boring, even now–my vices are candy, buying books, and biting the side of my mouth.
But I come from a family of smokers. I’ve never actually smoked before, in part because nobody has ever offered me a cigarette (I think that goody-two-shoes aura just oozes off of me), and in part because I once got picked on for smelling like cigarette smoke. It’s just not appealing to me, even aesthetically.
The weird thing is that I dream about smoking. I sometimes crave cigarettes when I’m stressed out, despite never actually having smoked. There’s probably some kind of psychological explanation for that, but I don’t yet know what it is.
Smoking is bad for you, yes, but there’s still something intriguing about a character that smokes. Chalk it up to one of my favorite genres being noir (and occult noir at that), but I’m still that goody-two-shoes girl who can’t help but fixate on how interesting smoking is, how a character who’s a smoker is somehow different than the version of themselves that doesn’t smoke.
Sorry, DARE instructors and Truth campaigns.
I’ll be on vacation next week, which means no drabble. So here’s one for this week, only mildly autobiographical.
(Noun: Greek καπνός for “smoke” and μαντεία for “divination” or “to see”)
A method of divination using smoke.
Fatima does not smoke, but she is a teenager and sometimes it slinks into her lungs anyway, carried on a campfire breeze or surrounding her like a gray blanket at the basement shows she turns up at every weekend, no matter how bad they are.
Fatima does not smoke, but she sometimes thinks about wrapping her lips around a thin white stick and breathing out slowly through her nostrils, her face a mask of apathy.
Fatima does not smoke but she watches it twirl and twist in the sunlight, each particle part of a whole, and finds it beautiful, anyway.