The man comes back from a hard day at work. He unlocks his car and opens his glove department. He pulls a box of magic cancer sticks. He searches for his lighter and he finds it.
Then he proceeds, to steps out of his vehicle and lights his cigarette. With the first puff, he breathes a sigh of relief. With the second, he feels the stress wash away like writing on the sand. After the third, he inhales nothing but poison for his lungs. He exhales a cloud of burning lung cells.
The cloud is faint unlike its smell. It sticks to him, he reeks of ash and he tries to hide the smell in the cover of wind. However, the wind wants to play no part in helping him. The wind pushes the smell right back on him. He switches his shirt with another and hopes it solves the problem. He can’t know if it has or not since he is oblivious to the smell.
The smell sticks to him. It’s a part of his identity now. Now no one can bear to stand next to him. He reeks of a dying animal covered in flies. He wonders what he could do to stop the smell from being so repulsive.
I have an answer for this man. I tried to tell him one day as I walked passed him. He laughed and said to me. “Don’t worry, I’m not addicted to it. I can stop anytime”. I conceded my point and went off with my day as did he.
All I can do is hope he finds out about the cigarettes smell. If he doesn’t he is destined to become another version of me.