Aside from that one weekend on the eve of 7th grade, when my parents left me with my older sister, I’ve never been a smoker. When I actually inhaled, it always tore my throat up so bad I couldn’t even finish a whole cigarette. Still, that weekend, a random, inconsequential moment occurred that I still—for some strange reason—remember in astonishing detail.
Like I said, I’ve never been a smoker, and I get sick of sucking down secondhand in the rock clubs I spend so much time in. Still, there’s something transfixing for me about the smoke itself: elusive, continuously shifting shape, slipping through your fingers if you grasp at it. It begs contemplation, introspection. What cued that infamous flashback in Casablanca? The smoke from Bogey’s cigarette.
1. “Highways and Cigarettes” - Son Volt 11. “A Shot in the Arm” - Wilco
21. “Dad Blame Anything a Man Can't Quit” - Roger Miller