Friday, September 15, 2006

Sharing a cigarette

I dont often lend cigarettes, just the same way as I dont lend optimisim. Not out of choice, but somehow I very rarely come across people asking for one. These days, nobody cares. Everyone seems to have their pack or nobody seems to want to ask a stranger. The days of sharing cigarettes are long gone I realise; the days of university.

I often look forward to offering a cigarette to some one wishing to bum one. And I would gladly hand one; helps networking, I figured.

But this other day, I was on the other side of the story. The pack was over and I didnt have the time to pick a new one. I was in a rush to catch the flight. I got through immigration and realised that I did have about 15 minutes before boarding began.

I decided to try my luck at the smoked filled cigarette lounge. There were a few people scattered around the room. I took a seat, carefully surveying as to whom to approach. Who would be the one who would hand me one without any reluctance. I am very careful when it comes to an opportunity to get rejected. So I always measure my steps, read body language and then come to an informed decision on whom to approach. As a result, I have missed out many a promotion, autograph and introductions.

As I finished a 2-minute survey of the far right corner of the room, I heard,

"Would you like a cigarette?"

I knew it was her, I knew it was a Davidhoff but I couldnt believe my eyes.

She was there, in her dark blue suit, with the hair starched & wavy, make-up solidly splayed on and the smile, as knowing as ever.

- Yes, I would like one -

As I wasnt carrying my lighter either, a gold plated lighter gun immediately sprung up and lit the ciggy.

- Its a pleasure to have met you -

"Really. Why is that?"

- Its not often one comes across... someone who has managed to captivate me -

"I have?"

- Yes ma'm, you indeed did -

"Thats strange, I dont think I have ever met you. Am sorry, my memory fails me often".

Not sure if she was taking the piss or it was just her modesty, I smiled.

I assured her that its not her fault.

"Ok, where did you meet me?"

- It was a long time ago ma'm -

"I am waiting.."

I couldnt believe my eyes, really. I normally would pounce upon such surreal moments with full gusto. Today there was nothing.

Through the smoky lounge and beyond the full length windows, I could only hear:

.. Rainsbows and waterfalls run..
In the garden I see
West purple shower bells and tea..
Pretty music I hear
So happy and loud..
Feel sunshine sparkle pink and blue.. *

"You are a strange little fella you know", she said as she stubbed hers out.

"Have a good day" she said and the heels clicked by.

* Shuggie Otis on Strawberry Letter 23


Kogi Kaishakunin said...

Surreal indeed...did her hips sway in that same sexy manner?

Wenerd said...

Man that was a pure piece of fiction, closely aligned to a dream. Dont recollect the hips, but remember the knowing & wise smile.

coriander salamander said...

Stained window, yellow candy screen
See speakers of kite - with velvet roses diggin' freedom flight

A present from you - Strawberry letter 22
The music plays, I sit in for a few