This photo was captured by my Aunty Sandra after we trailed up what seems like the tallest mountain in the world to sprinkle my Aunty Doris on Penshaw Hill, so she could watch us all from this vantage point at the top of the hill. I can see where she is from a 50mile radius. I see her as I drive to work. The kids wave to her whenever we go past. How i am smiling in this photo I will never know, but what I am also doing is smoking.
Having my last ever cigarette with HER ever. The very thing that took her is a thing I cleave to. A thing we shared innumerous times at this back door with our coffees and our cussing and our love.
All of the grown ups around me smoked growing up. I was THAT kid in the pubs with socialites of the 80s quaffing carling black label and chiffing on embassy filters. I was the one who adored old Harry with his pipe that smelled like toasted marshmallows. That savoured this then welcome smell all the way through growing up.
I didn’t smoke at 18.
I didn’t smoke at 22
I did however start smoking cigars when I was 23
Then i moved to Marlboro Lights. There I stayed. I had amazing times with my friends, always always smoking
One in my hand always
Even here. I don’t like that I do it. But yet I still do. Its the few minutes away from the world. The “excuse me a moment” so I can leave a situation. Its the vent for every emphatic energy I absorb from the world around me. Always blowing out. Releasing IT. Releasing whatever it is. They wake me up. They make me feel better when i Feel like i am the bottom of a well.
When i am drowning in thoughts. There is some thing pacifier esque to them.
I have to gently reach over and remove that. I have to replace it with something. I have tried to stop before but I didnt really WANT to. All of my grown ups are gone. That has to be me now. I have a vapey thing that Adrian King of willpower has used and stopped within a month. I am going to try. I am going to try to release myself from these ashes. Ashes of other lives. Ashes of those i love. Ashes of forgotten days.
I have to.
I can presumably get through a day without murdering. Perhaps. Instead of murdering myself slowly.