Tales Of Smoking: Death be not proud, you ain’t all that.


For lent, Matt gave up karate, and by karate, he meant cigarettes, and replaced it with religion, and by religion, he meant beer. Even though his eyes darted furtively back and forth and back, going at least 120 mph, his knee bouncing, a hyperactive nervous tic, he was oddly silent. Jittering hands, his own, the humongous clock, an already opened fresh pack of Salem® in a lesser pale green box, insinuating less tar, and more flavor, back to the clock, the cat calendar on the wall, set to March. 28 days boldly marked out with a red ‘X’. Each successive ‘X’ larger, shakier and redder, the skittish medium-sized black and gold cat, named Dos Equis®, named, of course, after the most interesting man in the world™.

Time stood still. It was painful. For the briefest of moments, he considered smashing the living fuck out of those damn nicotine sticks, that stupid strangle-holding vice. Yet, the greater part of him craved the complete pleasure, the oral fixation satisfied, lips pursed around the familiar comfort of thin phallic cylindrical cigarette. Inhaling that delicious mentholated tar, exhaling all that pretty gray wispy smoke. He sighed loudly, startling Dos Equis®. A little known fact about the cat, he freaks out hard when jostled. First, he vomits every bit of Purina® from his stomach, then jumps straight up in the air, a good three feet. So that happens, but as shit tends to happen, Dos Equis®, who is not de-clawed, grabs a hold of Matt’s bare legs on the way down. From there, thanks to gravity, weight and activated claws, Matt screams, as the skin tears away from his leg. To heighten the situation, Matt was on some serious blood thinners.

Matt stood up, and foot straight into the warm cat puke, followed by a slide, and like a long jumper combined with a pole vaulter, body, ass and legs floating in air, then boom, flat on his back, the taste of desperation prevalent in his mouth. His eyes slowly retraced the room, calendar, clock, bottom of the table, then darkness, the profound and life-ending kind. Blood filled the floor like the end credits of a horror film.


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