22 December 2012

Cigarettes and Time

I awoke this morning to a strange sense of identity. One of my first brazen (for me) acts of adolescent rebellion occurred when I left home for college and immediately took up smoking tobacco. (Later I added other substances, disproving I suppose the myth that starting with marijuana is the path to decadence.) Both my parents had smoked as I grew up, though at some point my mother gave up the habit. My father continued to smoke until the habit cost him his life. Of course, my smoking parents had advised me not to begin¾do what I say, not what I do¾but of course, their caution only encouraged me to take up the habit. Throughout my time at college I continued to smoke, but at some indeterminate time after graduation I realized that this was no way to live or die, and so I gave up cigarettes and took up the pipe. I purchased a great variety of pipes¾even owned a Sherlockian meerschaum¾but I was not a good pipe smoker, couldn’t really keep it lit for any considerable amount of time, and found the whole process a bit too troublesome and unsatisfying to be maintained. I gave up pipe smoking and gave away the pipes.  

But I awoke this morning with the sense that I had in the not too distant past again and surreptitiously taken up smoking tobacco, and I had the sense that rather than purchase cigarettes I took to begging others for one or three. The memory is so vivid that it seems that the events existed, and yet I know that I have not touched a cigarette almost forty years.

What dream provoked this memory? I enter my sabbatical semester now that grades for the Fall are posted. I suspect that there might be a connection between asking for cigarettes and asking for time. 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes a cigar is not a cigar...

Adding the French suffix -ette makes the word a feminine diminutive, thereby referring to a part of the female anatomy. "Begging others for one or three" implies that you have more than one source. Lastly, time = a date.

26 December, 2012 12:33  

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