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I know it's bad for me, but...
6 days ago ·
There's just something about smoking a cigarette in the hours just before dawn. I don't smoke often anymore, but sometimes it hits the spot. Visiting family can be stressful, and sneaking out to indulge in something you promised you had quit feels almost rebellious, despite adulthood having killed that thrill years prior.
The windows are dark, save a dim light peering through the blinds on a select few houses. Maybe they fell asleep to the TV. Perhaps it's an insomniac, entertaining themselves until daylight comes and they have a reason to be awake. It might even be a teenager, sneaking online to play games and interact with friends he's never met. It doesn't matter, but entertaining the thought gives me something to do as the embers of the cigarette creep towards my fingers.
Streetlights reflect their glow off the shimmering surface of the damp pavement. A distant streetlight changes color, blurred but distinct, processed through lenses of subpar vision. Why am I processing this. What even am I? I'm atoms, molecules, but what am I? Is there an I? I have words to describe myself, other have words to describe me, but they're never the same. If you ask a thousand people you will get a thousand answers. It doesn't matter.
A lone vehicle drives by. The driver briefly flashes his lights. I don't understand his message. Perhaps he meant to see me better, or communicate that smoking is bad for my health. I'll likely never see him again, and he will never see me. Maybe I'll become an allegory for his children as to why smoking is bad for your health. Maybe we will meet, but likely never know it was each other in that instant. It doesn't matter.
The noise of an engine pierces the night, previously unbroken except by the hum of a street light and the occasional crunch of gravel under my feet from shifting to a more comfortable stance. The sound gets closer, stops, and starts again. It sounds like a manual transmission. Why do I know that? Why do I learn things? It doesn't matter.
Why am I out here? I don't like smoking. I'll throw away the filter, go inside and wash my hands to mask the scent. I don't want to worry my family. The worry is irritating. I don't really care myself and I don't understand why they do. They say they love me but I don't really love them. I say I do because that's what you do, but I don't really love anyone. I don't really hate anyone. I'm just here, the emotions thing confuses me sometimes. I'm probably still depressed and just don't realize it. I'm rambling. My thoughts are incoherent, poorly stated, and even in my mind they don't sound educated. I'm not a writer. I don't read literature, these days I just read textbooks. Why do I read them? Why do I care about being a learned man? It doesn't matter. I'm going inside.
But for what it's worth, this was nice. There's just something about smoking a cigarette in the hours just before dawn.