It's 18 days into the smoking ban. I'm surprised how little I've discussed it with people, really -- I know that at the moment I'm pretty hostile to anything that smacks of a Current Affairs Discussion because, frankly, my misanthropy and disillusionment complicated by fatigue and insecurity make me a very bad general conversationalist right now, but still.
I have mixed feelings. I'm not a smoker. I have a particular murderous hatred for the sort of not-really-a-smoker who props the cigarette between their fingers and lets it burn down without actually smoking it, like a curling ashy entrail making the air taste like burnt hair and oxidised wine. I am pleased to see the back of these polluting pretenders. But the pale, blueish clouds produced by those who actually do inhale the stuff -- I don't know. Without the miasma of smoke, some places lack a certain ... there's no other way to say it ... atmosphere. They are supposed to be contextualised and historicised and wreathed by the decades of nuance attached to the causal consumption of nicotine. It's just not the same. The vagueness of seeing things through a haze of microscopic ash particles. The scented, slightly bitter but almost negligible sense of something transgressive -- something transgressive in the air, something transgressive in the people, something slightly black leather, fishnet stockings, stiletto heels, mirror shades, something bad.
Of course, smokers aren't like this any more. But the smoke still is.
In sickness and in health
2 months ago