A guy and a girl sat on a porch smoking peach flavored cigars under a dim, summer sky.
And it was just perfect.
There was no tension. There was no pressure. There was only enjoyment and thin smoke.
She struggled to work the lighter. She hadn’t smoked before, but that only made the experience better for them both. She was trying something new, something that was beautifully bad for her. He knew how that felt. He’d been there before. So he was happy, helping her along, teaching her to press her thumb on the tiny, metal ring, and to flick down creating a small spark that would turn into a slightly bigger, but still small, flame. He taught her how to smoke, to draw in like sipping through a straw, and to not inhale your first time, or it would probably sour the whole experience, thus souring experiences to be had in the future.
It took a few minutes for him to instruct and for her to learn, but she caught on, and soon they were sitting underneath an orange sky, staring into space, and blowing smoke. They tasted traces of artificial fruit flavor from the ends of the light tobacco. She learned fast and, before long, he couldn’t tell that she hadn’t done this before.
He watched her, smiling at her victory, and he leaned back, relaxing, trying to commit the moment to memory.
But time spent in the mind is time wasted in reality, so he quit trying to take a snapshot with his brain, and he focused on blowing smoke rings – which he wasn’t very good at – and watching his friend marvel at the smoke rolling from her mouth. Instead of setting himself up to remember, he smiled and felt the now. He felt what it was like to shut off his brain and simply be.
So he looked over at her, and she laughed and smiled. She laughed a laugh that he found to be more comforting than mint tea, and she smiled a smile that he found to be more inspiring than Van Gogh. There’s a lot to be learned from any situation, from any event or occurrence, but you need to be vigilant and observant to catch the lesson. He was lucky enough to catch her through the darkness, if only for a few seconds. If only for a few comforting, inspiring seconds.
They talked about life and getting older and whether or not that would be cool or uncool. They talked about the past and how weird they were, how strange they used to be and how laughable that was now. They talked about what tomorrow held and what yesterday felt like. They talked about where they’d been and where they thought they’d be. It was small that talk grew a few inches and put on a few pounds.
They talked for a while, but here and there, they ran out of things to say. They ran out of things to ask each other and, quite literally, only cricket chirps were heard. Here and there, they had nothing to talk about.
And that was ok.
As the eternally wise Mia Wallace said, you know you’ve found someone cool when you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence. So they did. They sat speechless, only briefly, and comfortably enjoyed the silence.
The night grew darker, and along with it, the cigars – as cigars tend to do – started to taste harsh and ashy. They were long before, but now they burned short. There was little flavor left to be tasted and little smoke left to be blown. So they pitched them out into the street and sat back to look at the stars.
A guy and a girl sat on the porch smoking peach flavored cigars under a clear, summer sky.
And it was just perfect.
This is a story recounting an evening I spent with one of my great friends. I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to get to know her better, and might be even more thankful that I was with her when she smoked her first cigar. Regardless, this was a great memory that I thought was worth writing about.