May 12, 2004


i was 19, it was the year after i finished high school and before i started uni. i was doing alot of theatre work, mainly as backstage crew, the experience of which can be summed up in one word: waiting. we did a lot of it.
we were sitting outside the theatre, just at the stage door, waiting for the set to be built. according to the production plan, they were about 6 hours behind schedule, which meant that we had to be there so that the moment they finished, we could rush straight in and try to make up for lost rehearsal time.
we were hungry from not having eaten all day, tired from having been in the theatre overnight, and very very bored. to take her mind off her growling stomach, my friend z took out her cigarettes and lit one. she offered me one, as usual; instead of declining as usual, i took one. z’s face registered surprise. “you’re going to have teach me how to do this”, i said to her. so she did.
(this is also the story of why i still smoke menthols, even in winter weather – something many people find strange. in short: it’s hot in singapore. most people smoke menthols there for that reason. for me smoking is inextricably linked to singapore, and therefore to that particular kind of cigarette. emotional memory and all that.)
so now that you know the story of my first cigarette, tell me yours.


2 thoughts on “smoke

  1. i nicked my dad’s half-smoked b&h dangling off the ashtray while he was on a pee break, took a puff, inhaled, and never looked back.
    i was 6.

  2. I was 18 before I had my first cigarette. I should have known better. It was at a party, I was drunk, the rest is history (as was the rug in the hall).

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