after packs and packs of cigarettes, i found one stick in a crumpled and forgotten pack inside my pocket. for me, this kind of cigarette is the kind of stick that stands out from the rest. probably because, it just appear whenever you need it, especially if you are at the peak of your craving. but it was already stale and lost its stiffness in my pocket. i was actually having second thoughts, if i would still light it or not. since i always prefer my cigarettes like there fresh from a newly opened box. but then i realized that the store is a couple of blocks far and i am not sure if its still open during this wee hour of dusk.
i didn't have any choice and smoking is already something that i could not resist. i could say that the vise basically, defined me who i already became. as much as i wanted to resist it.
so, i just carefully pinch the cigarette's empty tip, gently slide it between my fingers and violently pound it on my other thumb continuously.
i never thought that the sensation it will create was this massive. until i could no longer stopped myself from vigorously hitting it, over and over, from tip to base, on my other thumb, in the gentlest way possible because i was scared that i might break it in half.
as my finger gently stroked the stick, i could clearly feel the hollow spaces running across it and the movement of the stale tobacco leaves as it filled up those gaps. but it was the friction my fingers created against the thin paper sheet that i really loved. it was beyond words, if you'll ask me.
then, i didn't notice that its been a while since i started doing it. but i was still not stopping. i even caught myself staring blankly in the empty bed as i continuously pounding the cigarette. i never pounded that hard before, probably, the hardest pound i did so far. it was the kind of pounding that would rattle any body's chest: creating a beat that no one will ever forget. it has the rhythm that you'll never miss and makes you start questioning yourself for what is actually happening.
the sun was already up when i realized that the empty space from the tip is almost quarter of the entire stick. i felt my mouth turned dryer than the sahara, that even if i wet it with my tongue, the moist would just not stay put. so finally, i have decided that i need to taste and enjoy the fruit of my labor. i softly twist its ending and reached the waiting lighter on the table.
the lighter instantly emitted fire when i pushed it as if it understood the craving that i long kept. i excitedly drew it near to the stick as i felt its mild warmth soothing my cold and trembling face. then i gently place the cigarette butt on my dry lip and hold it with my teeth as if it was the most delicate thing on earth. there, i unleashed the hardest sip i have made.
i felt a rich cloud of smoke filled my palette, brushed across my throat and filled my chest. i wanted to keep it inside, as if i don't want to let it go anymore. but i know, i have to let it go for it will eventually choke and even worst kill me.
smoking could not be any person's gourmet for it has this hurting kick once it entered your body. you could clearly feel how it creeps inside and gradually rotting whatever come its way. but for some, just like me, it is actually that unexplainable pain that makes one realize its hidden irrational pleasure. the pleasure that creates that insatiable craving to smoke more.
i softly burst it out. a thin and sharp sheet of white smoke flew like a blade that sliced the monotony of the room. the pleasure was indispensable that i already loss count of how many blows i made. until the last puff made me realize that it was already my queue to kill the stick before it totally burn my lips. i crushed the struggling fire on the steel ashtray and pushed it as hard as i can until the remaining life of the cigarette disappeared.
i smelled a familiar scent. but i am not sure if it was coming from the dying cigarette. it was a concoction of drenching stink and a mundane musk that i couldn't remember where i have met before. it filled the entire room and even sat on my soaking pants. the scent eventually subsided, probably, erased all trace of other scents inside.
then i rest my back on my chair and stared blankly again in the now occupied bed.
i told myself, "too bad, he missed the tastiest stick, one can ever have."