Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Cigarette

I had a filming for a local TV show this morning. One of my client's was a guest on the program and I went to provide talking points and moral support. The show tapes in a high-end interior design store. As my client was getting mic'd, I stood in the next room over with one of the host's house guests - Jordan. I had met her just five minutes earlier and learned that she was 19 and had recently moved in on a semi-permanent basis.

She was pretty with jeweled sandals, daisy dukes, eyelids heavily-stained in an azul blue and an armful of braided friendship bracelets that would rival Taylor Swift. As filming began I turned to see her draw a Virginia Slim from its green box out of her bag and say "So, do you like want to go out and smoke or do you want to watch her?" I smiled and said I was going to stay in and watch but thanks. She disappeared only to emerge by my side a few minutes later with the cigarette broken in two and a distressed look on her face. "Do you know how to fix this?" she asked holding the broken stick out for inspection.

I laughed inside as I thought she was probably asking the worst person in the entire world this question. I've never even held a cigarette between my two fingers yet alone begin to know how I would begin to fix a broken one. I told her I didn't and asked if that was her last one. She said yes and sighed heavily as she sat down on the couch to begin repairs. I heard her say "this sucks" several times as she attempted to join the two ends back together as nicotine ash poured out from the open ends all over the couch she was sitting on that I was sure cost a mini-fortune.

She disappeared again only to return with another question. "Do you have a lighter" she asked? Despite the fact that I abhor public smoking and think it's utterly rude and stinky. And despite my enormous urge to retrieve my anatomy book and show Jordan the black lungs she was bound to end up with and lecture her on all the problems that smoking can cause including adding wrinkles to her perfect, olive skin, I somehow had a twinge of sympathy for her. This smoke break had turned into quit an ordeal and from the look on her face, a rather stressful one. "I don't have a lighter," I said, "but I do have this" I said as I pulled out my Scripto long-stem candle lighter. Her eyes lit up and she said "Yes! That will work" and I wondered when it was exaclty I had turned into Mary Poppins. (I also carry sweaters, Bug-off and Barbie band-aids with me in case anyone is in need.)

She took the "lighter" and headed outdoors. Though I stayed inside I was so tempted to sneak a peek out the window and see how she would manage holding her two cigarette ends together while holding the starter down and rolling the dial. Her attempts must have been successful becasue she came back in smelling of cheap cigarettes covered with traces of bath and body works spray.

1 comment:

Kayla said...

Awesome!!!! So sad that some people's lives revolve around a little lit up stick