Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The smoker

There is an old man in our area who walks enormous distances just to have a smoke. I see him hunched on the cement wall of the pre-school down the street, an archaeological dig of butts growing around his feet.
I see him at the bus stop under the awning, lighting one cigarette off of another.
I see him 2 miles away in front of Long's Drugs by the Mayten tree with a cloud of smoke around his head. He can barely walk, breathes heavily. He is scruffy but I'm sure he has a home to go to.
My guess is, he has a wife with swollen ankles and a pink face and capri-pants that hunch up around her waist who dusts every morning and wears slippers most of the day and tries out Hamburger Helper recipes she sees on the cooking channel.
My hunch is he told her he quit smoking 2 years ago. He made a promise. He thinks she doesn't know.
What else could it be?


smartz said...

After giving this post a second, third, and fourth look, I see a short story or maybe even a novel.

CJGallegos said...

Smartz, the man won't live long enough to interview for a novel.