(by an4@anon.lelnet.com, 01 April 1998)

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Smoking From All Sides ( Glamor - Pics | Female Celebrity Smoking List )
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   The rain was making it impossible to go outside, and Lana needed desperately
to do just that.
   She was pacing the concrete floor of the condo basement, feeling almost as
miserable as she looked.
   For the last hour she had wanted a cigarette in the worst way- in any way.
But just as the sun had finally gone down, just as the last of the nosy
neighbours had finally gone inside- the beastly hot weather, bizarre for this
time of year, eighty in March, of all things, had them crawling around their
condos like so many ants, driven above ground for reasons beyond their
understanding- it had begun not just to rain, but to pour.
   She knew she could open the slider, stand in it, and try to smoke. But either
the cigarette smoke would drift into the apartment or the cigarette would get
wet and taste strange. She'd tried it once or twice before with little
   She hated the rain- resented it.
   Glancing at her watch, Lana felt her agitation rise. It was after seven now
and Laura would be home by eight. She needed time not only to smoke, but to
shower afterwards so that Laura wouldn't know- the same reason that she
couldn't just stand inside the basement and smoke. The clothes dryer- loaded
up with wet clothes and enough anti-static cling sheets, would smell fine- the
washer was in the middle of a load precisely because Lana had come home and
expected to be able to smoke for two hours- but not if she didn't make a fair
effort to keep the smoke outside.
   Another few minutes went by as she paced the hard floor. She had a just less
than an half-full pack of Marlboro Lights 100s and a lighter in her hand,
anxious to use them. The rain began coming down even harder, the drops so
large they left small crater-like impressions on the fading wood deck.
   Her agitation was now beyond intense. Time, always fleeting, was now
operating strictly against her. 10,000 Maniacs' Jezebel was troubling her soul
and the thought that she'd gone six and three quarter hours without a
cigarette was driving her fully mad.
   It was not nicotine withdrawal. Although Lana had gotten quite good at
sneaking cigarettes- often smoking as much as half a pack a day- she felt no
physical cravings. But the emotional cravings- it was partially the enjoyment
she knew she was being denied, and it was partly her simple dislike of being
defied, whether it was by the father of the two young girls in unit 11 who
thought it was perfectly fine to walk around in faded white shorts and a
under-tank, looking for all the world as if he was in his underwear, or by the
   Upstairs, the cd player tracked on, the minutes eroding. Because The Night
was suddenly audible, right in the short riff that Bruce Springsteen and Patti
Smith had stolen from, of all the unlikely sources, Rindi Ross's Seattle band
named Quarterflash. That riff sometimes ate at Lana for hours.
   Like her urge to feel the pleasure of a cigarette.
   And then it dawned on her. She could hear the cd player.
   She rushed back over to the slider. The rain had stopped. It had stopped and
no one had come pouring out of their condos yet to walk their dogs or walk
back and forth to the garbage eight times or-
   Lana knew it was terrible, but the old people were the worst. It took them
forever to get in and out of their mammoth cars, even longer to start them up
and back away or park. One of the men, Mr. Baldingame, would pull into a
space, back up, pull forward, back up, sometimes for two or three minutes
straight. He would then get out of the car as though the burp guns were still
trained on him in some French trench. If Lana had just lit her cigarette or
was almost ready to stub it out in the dirt to the right of the deck, he would
have groceries in the trunk.
   Removing them was only slightly less complicated than launching the space
   "Why am I thinking about this ?" Lana asked the air, "when I could be smoking
   It was a good question. Lana slid open the glass door, pulled a cigarette
from the pack, lit it quickly.
   She drew deeply on it and it was as satisfying as she'd hoped. So satisfying
that she hoped the phone would ring soon and Laura would tell her she wasn't
going to be able to make it home for dinner tonight.
   The rain was gone. Left in its wake was the sort of cool  moist spring air
which enhanced the smoking experience significantly. Thinking pleasant
thoughts, Lana stepped out on the deck, sliding the door half closed as she
passed through it. She turned and looked at herself in the mirror. The long
white cigarette was  barely visible in her hand- she was just a ghostly figure
in the reflection of the arc-soduim light up near the kerb.
   She brought the cigarette to her mouth, inhaled deeply, watching the tip
flair so that the entire cigarette was visible in the glass.
   Unfortunately, that wasn't the only thing visible in the glass.
   She caught sight not of Mr. Burlingame, although the general shape was there.
No, all she could see clearly in the glass was that stupid powder blue hat of
his. He wouldn't have seen her yet- he walked with his head down as though
he'd always just lost something, but she would have to move quickly and she
did, slipping back past the door, regretting losing the chance to admire
   The smoke curling off the cigarette was of course making the basement smell
funny now and Lana made a note not to waste any time getting the wash into the
dryer. Lights off in the basement, she was almost invisible, but Burlingame
was looking in her direction anyway. He could probably see the open slider.
Unattended open sliders were against condo regulations, and he was the sort-
   She considered sliding it closed but then the smoke would really start to
back up.
   "Get in your car," Lana hissed, thinking to herself that all would be right
with the world if he would somehow pull away in less time than it would take
her to smoke half a cigarette. Finally, he stuck the key in the door and-
   As he was opening it, the phone rang. Lana always kept one of the portables
in the basement when she was smoking, in case Laura decided to come home
earlier or late. If their was one thing her roommate was good about it was
calling in her plans from her Celica.
   Burlingame stopped getting into his car, as though he might be hearing his
own phone- or as if he was hoping to catch her out.
   "That's absurd," she said quietly, then picked up the phone. If it was MCI
again, she was going to be pissed.
   "Lana, it's Laura. Look, I'm going to be a little late- some of the girls
wanted to go out and, uh, I feel bad. We haven't had dinner together in almost
a week, but-"
   Turning the phone away from her mouth, she inhaled, held the smoke, and then
   "Lana ?"
   "No, it's fine. You just caught me while I was working on the laundry. Look,
I understand. I guess I'll scare something up or maybe order Indian."
   "You're not mad ?"
   Lana finished another exhale. "No- we're just roommates. You don't have an
obligation to come home, you know."
   She could almost hear Laura, whose consideration bordered on a fault, smile.
   "I still feel bad-"
   "Don't. When do you think you'll be home ?"
   "After ten but before eleven. You're sure-"
   "Enjoy yourself," Lana said, finishing her cigarette. As Laura hung up, Lana
lit another. She certainly did plan to enjoy herself.

   Laura sat back down at the bar between Helen Frey and Natalie Marchment.
Helen was slowly working a Newcastle and a Virginia Slims 120. Natalie was
lighting a Marlboro Ultra Lights 100 while draining an Harp.
   "How can you guys smoke after a workout like the one we just had ?"
   Natalie pulled long and hard on her cigarette and smiled. She pointed the
large basket of free Buffalo wings which neither she nor Helen had touched
   "The question is how could we not ? I still have to lose ten pounds and I
could never resist food if I didn't smoke."
   Laura patted the small spare tire at her waist. It was why she'd taken up
aerobics, which she'd always privately thought a little silly. But it had been
a great workout, and Helen and Natalie, veterans of the aerobic wars, were
well able to outpace her despite their habit. She thought about the box of
Marlboro Lights 100s she'd found hidden in Lana's underwear drawer the other
   That girl- she was five six and all of one twenty two. She ran a couple of
miles in the morning but was hardly a fitness guru.
   She'd also lost fifteen pounds in the last two months, and even before she'd
found the cigarettes she'd come to the conclusion that her ex ex-smoker
roommate had dropped the weight by doing more than swearing off chocolate.
That was what had prompted the search. It was strange, too. Lana never smelled
smoky, her car was never smoky- nor her clothes.
   You just caught me working on the laundry.
   She was always `working on the laundry.' Was that her secret. Keep the
clothes clean ? Shower every night shortly before she came home ? Her hair
always looked wet when Laura came home in the evenings and until now Laura had
never really thought about it. Or rather she had thought about it abstractly,
all these possible clues, and never put them in one mosiac.
   One of them would certainly be smoky by the end of the night. Helen and
Natalie were not the sort of women who turned their heads away from you while
they smoked, and the bar was so smoky that it would have made little
   A fine haze drifted across the room, smoke from all sorts of cigarettes and a
few cigars.
   Laura felt herself having what she called `the crazies.' It was the feeling
she got just before she rocked her Celica up to 125 KPH out on the highway,
the one that occasionally found her in a chat room in the middle of the work
day. But this time the urge was different. They were going to be here for a
while and her stomach was rumbling. The hunger was almost painful, aggravated
by the smell of spicy chicken wings. Would it hurt anything to-
   She reached out and gently touched the bartender on the arm. He was a big
man, the sort who would probably be right at home paying a night's tips for
the privilege of watching Iron Mike in the wrestling ring.
   The other Iron Mike, Laura added silently. It was a shame that a
cannibalistic boxer had stolen the real Iron Mike's nickname, almost as much a
shame as that the man was coaching the lowly Saints.
   "What can I get you ?" he asked.
   She passed him a five, her nervousness a living entity which dulled the noise
of the music- Billy Idol's Flesh for Fantasy, of all things- and made the
warmth of the place seem distant, even ineffectual. Helen and Natalie were
arguing about whether the United States was responsible for Canada's currency
woes, Natalie loudly protesting the imperialistic nature of the america
economic agenda.
   "It's not like your relatives can't still afford pucks," Helen said,
intentionally cruel.
   "Can I get three dollars in quarters ?" Laura asked.
   He nodded as though this was a perfectly natural request- which Laura
realised, it was. He came back to her immediately with two ones and twelve
quarters. She dropped one of the ones on the bar and left her friends to their
strange little argument.
   The cigarette machine was in the front of the bar, just inside the front
   A teenager- she couldn't have been more than sixteen, was calmly buying a
pack of Marlboro Lights 100s. As the pack fell from the channel, Laura
experienced a momentary pang of worry that it was the last one, but as the
girl walked out the door, the prize in her hand, Laura was relieved to see
that there was one box left.
   The girl did it so easily. Not so for Laura, who spilled three of the
quarters from her hand. One landed on her sneaker, a second on the floor by
her foot. A third rolled under the machine. She looked at the price over the
coin slot- 2.75- and decided that she could do without the final quarter.
   It was an endless process, feeding quarters into the slot. Not truly- there
were only eleven, but to Laura, who'd never bought anything more expensive
than a Coke- Diet lately- from a vending machine, it went on for an eternity.
From the short dropping sounds, there were plenty of quarters already in the
channel. People walked by her without seeming to mind that she was blocking
the door partly and no one made snide comments.
   Of course they didn't. Laura realised that she was being at least a little
bit silly now. Why would anyone say anything ? If you believed the statistics,
one-quarter of the adult population smoked. If you were a realist who
understood that people often lied on surveys, the number was closer to one in
three, and then there was the teenage population- forty percent, by some
indicators. And bar populations-
   Forget about it.
   "Just pull the fucking lever," Laura said quietly to herself.
   She did, liking the round feel of the knob, which reminded her of a certain-
   She quenched that thought. The lever finished extending, furthering the
unfinished parallel, and then the cigarettes slid home with a thunk onto the
metallic shelf.
   Plucking her purchase up quickly, she tried to undo the slick cellophane. It
took three tries but finally she got it right.
   "Nice day- for a White Wedding."
   She could see the sneer on Billy's face. He was cute in a strange sort of
way, like that guy Spike on Buffy. Not the sort of looks which just any woman
found appealing, but then again, Laura was not just any woman. A little
skinny, British accent, bad attitude. An odd dream, but entirely hers. Punk
blonde hair- she knew there was a time she would have simply died for Sting.
Silly, that.
   Of course, it was the sort of indulgent thought she allowed herself when she
was putting off something-
   Was this really distasteful ?
   Lana thumb-forefingered open-apple s, repeated the gesture with q, and
watched another completed article fade from the screen, leaving just the
desktop picture of Frank Blank standing in front of a brassy Millennium
collage. Right now she felt a bit like him. Driven to something she could not
fully explain.
   It was close to nine. Although Laura would no doubt be gone at least another
hour, every car which drove through the condo lot sent a ripple of panic
through her, an adrenal rush which was part fear and part enticement. What
would happen if Laura discovered her ? Likely not much. They were both adults,
and deep down, Lana accepted that they would not be roomies forever.
   Would the knowledge of her smoking drive them apart ?
   Lana glanced at the clock on the menu bar. 19:57. Plenty of time. She needn't
find the answer to the question tonight. No. She could easily smoke three more
cigarettes, shower, and be ready long before Laura returned. By the time she
pulled the Celica into its anally assigned parking spot, Lana could be
cruising the internet, looking for-
   Lately, she'd taken to reading stories.
   Smoking stories.
   The only thing odder than rediscovering her love of smoking- and wouldn't
that have made a fine story in and of itself- was discovering that there was a
alternate species of men and women who found smoking sexually stimulating.
Authors like an2@lelnet.com, whatever a lelnet was,  msulliva, even a Stogie
Man, who had a sub-interest within the fetish. Yes, they themselves called it
a fetish, although she preferred to think of it as an interest.
   What would it take to meet a man like that ? One who would not only accept
her smoking self, but engage and encourage it ? That was a dream, not like
Laura's odd obsession with skinny, platinum topped Brits- of which there were
precious few in Burlington- but a dream nonetheless.
   Lana walked down the wooden stairs, her footsteps not the only thing hollow,
and she knew the answer to the question. The first thing it would take was an
admittance that she herself was a smoker. She was, after all. When you snuck
half a pack in the course of a day, you weren't indulging some odd desire.
There was no way for Lana to detach her smoking from the concept that she was,
in fact, a smoker, and the truth was she had no desire to do any such thing.
   But that was a far cry from making a public pronouncement, wasn't it ? How
did you meet other smokers when no one but the nice man you bought your
cigarettes from at six am during your coffee runs knew that you were, indeed a
smoker ?
   You didn't.
   Lana inhaled, enjoying the way the smoke expanded in her lungs. She found
herself looking forward to the exhale, but she didn't rush. No, she held the
smoke deep inside her flesh and blood, anticipating the way the the smell of
the smoke would change as it sat there, making her mildly, pleasantly high.
She stepped out on the deck, faced the slider door, and watched the smoke pour
from her lips to dance in reflected arc sodium street light.
   There was an artistic mein to her smoking, amasing in that she had no one to
counsel her how to best do it.
   But even that flash memory failed to entirely eliminate the depressive solace
of smoking in the company of no one else.

   Helen and Natalie had been working for at least half an hour to get Laura
drunk, and it was working.
   She was drinking Bass- one of the few beers which seemed to actually quench
your thirst. Or rather, inhaling it.
   Their entire attitude had changed the moment she'd returned. They hadn't
noticed her collecting her change, hadn't really even noticed that she'd left
them. But when she walked back to the bar with a pack of cigarettes in her
hand-well, vulture wasn't the right word, but something close to that, only
perhaps a bit more benign.
   What would one call a benign vulture, Laura wondered.
   The damnedest thing was that they hadn't mentioned the cigarettes once.
They'd just poured beer into her and promised her that since they'd gone to
class together in one car that they'd be nice enough to drive her home. Now
Laura was disappointed. She was totally toasted, of that there could be no
doubt, and yet they still weren't trying to get her to smoke.
   What the hell was up with that ?
   Finally, Laura could wait no longer. She looked at Helen, her eyes feeling
strangely bright. Perception was at a premium now. When she drank, it made her
a little hyper. Later, she knew she'd get tired, all at once, but right now
she was simply wired. Totally. Helen stared back at her, waiting for her to
say something, say anything, especially if anything was `why don't you light
one of those cigarettes.'	But Helen wasn't going to do that for her.
   Neither was Natalie. No, they were going to get her ready and primed to do it
herself. She could see in their eyes that they'd come to a silent
understanding and she was on her own until she jumped off the cliff of her own
   She admired their self-control.
   Laura broke the contact with Helen, focused on yet another basket of wings.
These baskets were placed all across the bar- the logic was irrefutable. You
ate the wings, they set your mouth on fire, you drank. Not water- water and
wing juice was the chemical formula for stomach acid. You drank beer, because
it put the fire out.
   But Laura didn't want to eat. No, as hungry as she was, even with the beer,
she most definitely didn't want to eat.
   That was why she'd bought the cigarettes, wasn't it ?
   "Goddamn it, which one of you is going to offer me a light ?" Laura asked,
drawing a cigarette from the pack. She placed it in her mouth and both women
were quick to offer lit lighters.
   It was the last time that she needed to ask.

   Lana was already in bed when Laura came in. Usually, Laura was quiet when she
came in late, and with it after midnight now she'd normally have been extra
silent, but- 
   In a way, Lana was pissed, and the particulars underscored what she realised
was a growing problem with trying to be a secret smoker. She should have been
pissed at Laura for being out late again and coming home- drunk, if her
clodding up the stairs was any indication- two hours after she said she would.
   And she was mad, but not because things like this would put a strain on a
relationship after a while, even a simple friendship.
   Simple friendship ?  Lana wondered idly.
   No, she was pissed because she could have easily smoked until eleven,
probably smoked the entire pack she'd bought this morning, instead of sitting
from nine thirty on in the dark watching Millennium and then news, and then an
X-Files rerun she'd seen at least three other times.
   And there was something wrong with that, wasn't there ?
   Lana felt as though she was still in the grip of the crazies. She'd fully
thought that she'd buy that pack of cigarettes, try one, maybe two, and then
realise that not only was smoking not a better alternative to being ten pounds
overweight but that she didn't like it. As she reached the top of the stairs,
carrying a small bowl from one of the kitchen cabinets in her hand she
understood that she had not achieved what she had hoped.
   Lana noticed the smoky smell eminating from her friend immediately. Her bed
was closest to the door, and Laura had to walk past her to get to her own side
of the room. She must have been out at a bar with Helen and Natalie, her new
aerobics buddies. The three women had worked together in the same firm for a
year, but until Laura had started taking the classes they'd not even known
each other.
   Lana hadn't met them but Laura talked about them, and of course the irony was
that Laura, who had no interest in smoking, had made two friends who were very
openly smokers.
   That explained the smoky smell, but what the hell was she carrying in her
hand ?
   She had no idea what it was that Laura was planning to do. She was
concentrating on pretending to be asleep so that they wouldn't get into a
discussion- at eight when Lana said she didn't mind Laura missing dinner and
being a little late she hadn't quite meant this, and she knew she was likely
to say something less than kind, even if it was mostly because she felt she
had to act pissed off for the right reasons- in spite of the fact that her own
secret ones were wrong.
   So she closed her eyes, rolled her pillow around her ear, and concentrated on
thinking about what that first cigarette after Laura left for work would taste
like. It was a pleasant exercise.

   Laura knew full well that Lana was only pretending to be asleep. It was funny
how having a roommate occasionally felt like being in a relationship. That was
precisely what it felt like right now. Lana had a right to be peeved, if not
pissed. You got used to your roommate being there, at least once in a while,
and that hadn't really been the case lately.
   But if Laura was right, if her plan wasn't just part of the crazies, they'd
both be happy soon enough.
   So she lit one of the cigarettes, sitting up and staring at her roommate as
she smoked, enjoying the simple pleasure of this new thing.
   It was enjoyable of itself. Oh, her throat was raw already and she knew that
the combination of the smoke and the alcohol would leave her with a mild
headache come morning, but right now she didn't care. All she cared about was
that against all logic, the cigarette actually tasted good to her, better yet
than any of the rest.
   And it felt good, too.
   She was blowing smoke in Lana's direction and wondering if she should admit
to knowing about the cigarettes stashed in the underwear drawer when Lana
finally sat out. The look of shock on her face was so close to comical Laura
couldn't help but wish that she had a way to capture it. 
 	The strength of the smell of smoke that had been clinging to Laura's clothes
was something of a surprise to Lana, but she'd kept up the part she was
playing, not looking at her, not acknowledging her in any way. She was well
known as an heavy sleeper, so it wasn't too much of a stretch- at least not
until she smelled   actual cigarette smoke.
   It was nothing like what clung to clothes, nothing so impersonal or
secondary. This was the real thing, living smoke, fresh from-
   Well, there was only one mouth in the room besides hers and she'd showered
and brushed her teeth and made herself entirely presentable specifically so
   She couldn't take it. She had to know, even if it turned out that she'd
somehow fallen half asleep and was dreaming it, something which seemed
desperately plausible at the moment.
   When she sat up, the very first thing she saw was a bright speck of orange
standing out in front of Laura's mouth, the reddish-orange flare of an inhale,
accompanied by the harsher sound of tobacco and paper suddenly burning hot
through an oxygen rush. There was a pause, and then came the exhale, pointedly
in her direction.
   "Laura ?"
   "I knew you weren't asleep, Lana."
   "What-" Lana tried to find a question more deeply analytical than merely what
happened, tried several things on for size, and finally came away with  "What
brought this on ?"
   It was dark, and the light of a cigarette was rarely enough by which to see
actual facial features, but Lana sensed an air of gentle chiding even before
Laura spoke.
   "I told you not to use Internet Explorer. I looked in your History and there
was this site- all smoking stories. At first-"
   Lana drew her breath in, thought about how ridiculous it would be to say `I
can explain,' and closed her mouth
   "There was this one- I know, you're probably wondering why in hell I started
reading the stories, but they were so weird. I mean- well, anyway, I'm drunk
and when I finish this cigarette I'm going to crash, so I guess I should just
get to the point. There was this one story called `Weighty Problems.' It got
me thinking about the ten pounds I want to lose, and then being out with Helen
and Natalie, well, it all just fell into place."
   She drew deeply on her cigarette, exhaled, and then waved the cigarette in
the air. Sobering just a little now, she knew exactly what to say. Not, oh
you've been smoking for months now or I know your little secret. Better to be
delicate and give her a chance to tell the truth on her own. That would make
this easier, she was sure.
   Lana was speechless. Part of her was considering what she had to gain if this
was not just some isolated drunken episode. The other part was sure that
anything she said would fracture this fragile moment and close the window that
was lying open in front of her. Besides, when Laura was drunk, which was rare,
she liked to talk, and that was precisely what Lana intended to let her do.
   "I know that you really enjoyed smoking, Lana. The truth is that I was kind
of, well, proud of you went you quit. And it must have been tough ever since.
But I think it's been getting to you. Lately, when I call and say I'm not
coming home- well, you sound like you're almost glad, like you're tired of
spending time with me, and I wonder if that's because I'm one of the people
who talked you into quitting in the first place."
   Lana smiled. Watching Laura draw on her cigarette again, she understood
   "You found my cigarettes, didn't you ? What were you doing in my underwear
drawer ?"
   "The last time you did the wash, you put one pair of yours in my drawer.
You've been smoking in the basement, haven't you ? That's why you run washes
all the time- the dryer hides the smell because we don't have the outdoor vent
hooked up. If I hadn't found the cigarettes, I never would have thought of it-
very clever."
   Lana got up, suddenly glad that she'd expected Laura back and decided she
didn't have time to finish the pack. There were three left, and she was going
to smoke one right now. As the anticipation built, she asked Laura a question.
   "Did you start because you wanted to lose weight, or because you knew I'd
never be able to go on hiding it forever, or what ?"
   Laura trimmed ash from her cigarette, inhaled again. Lana lit her own
cigarette at the same time, and went over to Laura's bed, sitting next to her
so that their shoulders were touching. It was a nice feeling. Thinking back
over the last- well, over the time since Lana had started smoking again- she
understood now that Laura was right. She had been staying home, letting Laura
go places and do things without her just so that she could smoke.
   "You were going to spend the rest of your life hiding in the basement and out
on the back porch because you smoke and I don't. I starting thinking about
that, then I started thinking about how you can eat a side of beef and lose
weight while I'll can't lose three pounds on the grapefruit diet, and it all
came together."
   Her cigarette was finished.
   "I'm dead," Laura said. "We can talk about this tomorrow."
   Drawing on her own, Lana exhaled and then offered it to Laura. "Let's share
this one, and then call it a night. You know, you're right. I've been feeling
   Laura took the proffered cigarette, puffed, handed it back.
   "Not about the lying-"
   Lana smiled as she exhaled through her nose, the smoke expanding like twin
rivers breaking past a delta. She chuckled.
   "No, not the lying. If not for the lies, there's months worth of smoking I
would have never had the opportunity to enjoy. But the always staying home and
then making it seem like you were the problem, being out all the time- that
was my fault. I wanted to be out on the deck, smoking, instead of- that must
sound terrible."
   They took turns with the cigarette, neither speaking. Finally, Lana broke the
   "Let's just forget about the past. What do you say to you coming to my
aerobics class tomorrow ? We can go out with Helen and Natalie, sit at the
bar, drink beers and smoke cigarettes- together. For a change."
   "Is  that why you did this ?" Lana asked, worried, because it would be the
wrong reason.
   She took the cigarette, inhaled, considered. Then handed it back over as she
   "I did it for me, for you, and for us. But right now, the only thing I can
imagine doing is going to sleep. See you in the morning ?"
   They hugged briefly, and Laura, who was a crash sleeper, did just that,
falling backwards with her clothes on. She was snoring before Lana even
finished the cigarette.
   She spent the time thinking about not taking three showers a day, not
cowering in the basement by the slider anymore-about actually having someone
to smoke in public with. While Laura slept the sleep of the near dead, Lana
hardly slept at all. But she did smoke. Smoked and tried not to regret the
fact that this hadn't happened sooner, that perhaps a little more honesty on
her part was the only part of the equation which ahd been missing.
   It began to rain again, and Lana pushed the doubts aside and smiled. It
really didn't matter what had happened.
   Because she no longer had to resent the sound of the rain. 

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