I’ve love smoking Marlboro, it’s my favorite thing. Every morning I wake up, light up a red on the back porch and chop a line. Rip it, rip the red, and pour a finger of bourbon and take a good sip. Then I sit and enjoy the red, watching it burn down as the sun finishes coming up, burning its way into our atmosphere, incinerating the black sky blue. It’s a beautiful ritual. Then, I basically do whatever I want. My reds always smoke down past the filter, they don’t give up, and when they do go out, they go out hard. It reflects the owner.
Sometime later in the day, I have to make a call to my friend who is flying into town later in the week. I have just finished a similar ritual to when I wake up, except it is now time for my red. I put my phone on speaker, set it on the table on the porch, and light up a red. My yellow stained fingers look at home with the black lettering printed “MARLBORO” around the base of the filter between my fingers. Buddy answers the phone, and we talk for about 35 minutes before he has to go. I finish my 2nd cigarette, and press my left hand index finger tip into the glowing ember of the still burning cig, to extinguish it with my guitar playing callus. Then I look into my next door neighbors yard where he is cutting the lawn on his riding mower. I pretend to be admiring the clouds, but when he makes his next stripe pass on his lawn and his back is turned to me, I flick my Marlboro butt into his yard, finish my bourbon, and throw my whiskey glass into his yard too. Then I casually get into my truck. As I drive down the street, one of my favorite song comes on the radio, as soon as I turn onto the road. It’s Overkill by Motorhead. Somehow, it is now about 7:30 PM, and the sky is turning into a gradient of blue->orange->pink-> purple, with dark Grey clouds scattered amongst the watercolor-esque hues. This phenomena is one of my favorite parts of being alive. I take a deep breathe of fresh air and feel the euphoria of life hit me in the gut like a gravel train full of bricks duct taped and zip tied to a ballistic missile slamming into the concrete at Mach 11. Or maybe that was just the whiskey and ice that I put in my nose earlier. No, I decide, it was just me.
On the way home, I stop and pick up another bottle of bourbon. The girl I have at my house today is hungry, and I am hungry in theory too, so I stop to pick up the Chinese food I ordered 25 minutes ago. The restaurant is an ornate building set back from the road about 1/4 mile, with an overgrowth of trees blocking the view of the restaurant from the road. This makes the experience of driving into the cracked asphalt parking lot seem more like entering the clearing of a jungle, to a mysterious, elegant palace, than pulling into the place where I drank way too much Sake after I turned 21 and fell asleep in the woodchips next to a relic 67 Camaro SS after my friends girlfriends birthday party. Or maybe that’s just the whiskey.
Once I’m home eating the food, it becomes apparent just how decadent my life has become. I have eaten 3/4 of this rich, high end chinese-american meal, sitting across from my girlfriend of the day, who happens to have thick, straight dirty blonde hair, a tight body, and a vertical driver’s license. It’s about 9:00, and just about dark. She falls asleep on the couch, which has just seen things that the internet only wishes it had the pleasure of viewing.
I decide to go for a drive, since my companion has fallen into the depth of a Chinese food coma, and rightfully so, I am hoping she enjoys her blissful rest. One of my best friends calls me and asks if I want to come hang out for a while. It’s always the same thing with him, we sit on his driveway, smoke joints that resemble .50 caliber anti material ammunition, and cause his neighbors to flick their lights on when we wake them up with our laughter. And I love it. I realize it’s no time to be wired, as I do need to sleep that night, since I have a massively critical meeting the next day, so I reach into my hiding spot, and gather 1 red seconal, and 3 Valium. I reminisce in my head about how it got to be this way, quickly coming to the conclusion that, I am not sure, but I am sure glad that it did. As I feel my body shiver with euphoric relaxation, and blissful energy overtakes my soul, I think of the girl I really miss, the last one I allowed myself to have feelings for, that I haven’t seen In a few years, as she took her journey in one direction, and I took mine in several others. I smile at the memories. Just then one of my other favorite songs, a cover of Bob Seger’s Turn the Page by Metallica comes on, and I feel a lump of euphoria once again hit me square in the stomach like an anvil being propelled out of the navy’s rail gun at 25,000 feet per second. Except this time, once I hear the song, it spreads throughout my body, like an exquisite delicacy of blissful mercury flowing through my veins.
As I pull around the overgrown corner on the last bend of my friends street, littered with luxury homes, that all happen to have a very similar design, almost like the developers did not try very hard at all to hide their greed, but nonetheless, a very nice neighborhood, I come into view of my best friend standing in his driveway. And look who happens to be next to him, my other best friend. Both of them are smiling and I am now giddy like a child who just got permission to drink the other half of a 2 liter of mountain dew and play Grand theft auto for the first time. I haven’t seen either of them in what seems like forever, as this last year has been a whirlwind of failing, succeeding, but mostly not giving up and not giving An inch. And, today, it seems like it has all been worth it. I put out my Marlboro on my finger again before I jump out of the truck, shake their hands, and my friend hands me the joint they’re smoking. Welcome home.
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