Wednesday, November 28, 2012
“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times.”
― Mark Twain
I'm at that crossroads again, the same intersection that Mark Twain must have encountered if we are to believe his statement. It's a familiar and lonely place where Temptation hangs out on one corner, looking slick and sexy, always ready with an easy lie. Temptation in the personified image that exists in my mind, is always smoking.
On another corner of the crossroad is a mirror. It's not an ordinary mirror, but rather like a carnival mirror; one that is subject to distortion depending on the angle of the viewer.
Smoking becomes a part of one's self image over the years. If you're like me you have a variety of self images, like the reflections in tricky mirror there are times when one or another dominates the view.
When I visualize myself in most situations I see a person who is smoker, but it hasn't always been this way. There have been times I went for years without smoking and gradually that part of my self concept faded. I was able to imagine myself in any situation without smoking, and eventually the thought rarely even entered my mind. I had, at certain points in my life, shed the identity of a smoker. And yet, somehow when I least expected it the image would resurface. The thought of holding a cigarette in a certain way, a punctuation mark of non-verbal communication. An image of exhaling smoke thoughtfully as if expelling a repressed secret.
Maybe it was the effect of all the movies I'd watched during my formative years glued to the television mentally absorbing lessons in subtlety of the adult dance of the unspoken message. In those old movies, the black and whites, people smoked constantly and the way they smoked held clues to the character and the motivation of the person on screen.
Smoking could be sexy and seductive, or brash and sassy. Sometimes it was devious, sinister and calculating. Or it can be rude and aggressive. And a cigarette can be the perfect accompaniment to despair especially in a duet with a tumbler of whiskey. Serenading misery and heartbreak on the silver screen, the dance of the seven veils as performed by a twisting wisp of smoke accompanied by the jingle jangle of crisp ice tapping the walls of a crystal glass. No finer burlesque for the anguish of a broken heart.
All are faded clips of the story of my life, the drama, the comedy the romance, the rebel Without a Cause and the Detective with a Vengeance The Sultry Seductress and the Sassy Schoolgirl. Even the Cruel and Manipulative Anti-Heroine. They are all in there, cigarette in hand, inhaling deeply as if challenging the oxygen to a game of Russian roulette.
© 2010-2012 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard