Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cough. Cough, cough.

I need to quit smoking. Not so much because it is going to kill me (that’s a plus, actually) but because it is making me want to kill other people.

Not literally, but still...

I was walking from the Red Line to my corner of Purgatory today and did as I have done for most of these last few months, lit a cigarette. Some woman rushed past me, waving her hands in front of her face, making some phony coughing sounds and protesting a bit more than necessary. I wanted to say I was sorry that my disgusting habit bothered her but I let her fly past me like a filthy pigeon I scared off into the air.

Last week I was taking a quick smoke break in the alley behind the office. A woman walked past, cutting from one building to the next. She made the same motion with her hands, placing her displeasure on display for one and all to witness. That time I was less sympathetic. There is an ashtray in the alley and a designated spot to smoke. The smokers of this city are about to lose their rights to puff away in bars and restaurants and have been pushed off the main streets and into the goddamn alleys. Give us our alleys, please, and give them to us free of your self-righteous condemnation. Let me stand proudly with my cancer stick among the trash, the rats and the stink, shivering from the cold and gazing onto the grandeur of the Potbelly’s workers throwing away bags of spoiled food. Give me my crumbs, please, and let me die in peace.