wish I smoked cigarettes. No, hear me out. I would be so much cooler. Generally, when I go out, as a non-smoking misanthrope, to a bar, a party, a bah mitzvah or what-have-you, I stand alone in a corner. Sans friends, sans companions, sans everything. I hate people. Instead of being an anti-social wallflower at public gatherings of my peers, I would stand alone with pride. There I would be, slightly slouched, sucking on a sin-stick, disinterest in my slightly-glazed eyes. No more social leper, nay, thar blows a trendily-tortured soul, a nicotine-makes-me-penitent-and-pensive-all-at-once pop punk. I say again: I would be so cool. Emo cool.

And it would serve a social function as well. I'd be standing there, all coolguy and shit, and people would come up to me and be all, "what brand you smoke?"

Slowly, I take the cig (that's what us smokers call these morbid motherfuckers) from my mouth and exhale a lungful of vaporized and particulate chemicals. Then I flick the butt with my thumb skillfully to remove the ash, watching as it falls slowly to the floor and respond: "huh?", as though I hadn't understood the question, which they then repeat.

"What brand?"

"Dromedaries," I respond nonchalantly.

"Dromedaries?" they ask, corners of their mouths down and eyes wide in thoughtful interest.

"Yes, dromedaries," I reply all suave-like after another leisurely puff. And after another, "they're new. Polish. Special recipe." I speak in short, breathy sentences because my lung capacity is severely reduced. Only one lung left, you see. I'm so cool. "You know those beans?" Puff. "Coffee beans." Puff. "The one's the cat's eat?" Puff. Puff. "And then poop out?" Cough. Hack... Puff. "And then the natives collect?" Puff. "And then sell?"

"No."

"Good stuff." Puff. "Dromedaries are the same way."

"Cat's eat it and shit it out?"

"No," puff. "Not cats." Puff. "Dromedaries."

"What's a dromedary?"

"It's like a camel." Puff. Puff. Puff.

"Like a camel?"

"Yeah, but only one hump." Puff. Glance around the room as though disinterested though I am thankful someone has taken it upon themselves to talk to my smokily-scented self.

"Oh, one hump." They nod their head as though they now understand the importance of this body of knowledge I have conferred upon them. "One hump is key." Yes, yes it is.

"You wanna try?" I offer them the butt. They take it, not concerned about my particularly-visible outbreak of mouth herpes or any other oral contagion my saliva may be carrying. We're all coolguys here. What's a little herpes between coolguys? I'll tell you what: Nothing. So he puffs. In the mouth, down the throat, eradicating cilia. (Cilia, those bastards. Fucking parasites, robbing my lungs of precious carcinogens.) Into the lungs and infusing their blood with nicotine and coating weakened alveoli with tar. And then out again. Catching the cilia once more, this time from behind, by surprise, and out the nose.

They frown and nod their head. "Not bad," they wheeze. I take my Dromedary brand cigarette back and nod.

"Not bad, indeed." I puff again, enjoying the particularly acrid flavor. Tastes like camel piss. Probably is. No matter, I've made a friend. No, a disciple, a worshipper, a follower. Because I am so cool.




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