Suzie's Wish, Part 1

(by, 03 January 2003)

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by uciboy


When you are a college teacher, you come into contact with some truly
interesting people.  Back when I was in graduate school, I was fortunate
enough to be a Teaching Assistant for an Asian American Studies class.  It was
at that time that I met Suzie Park.

Suzie was Korean American - a real knock-out.  The first week of classes she
caught my eye.  She had long, wavy brown hair that went down almost to her
shoulders.  Probably 20 years old, she was well built for her age.  In fact,
she was quite beautiful:  smooth skin, high cheek bones, small mouth with a
rather devious smile.  She had a very friendly disposition, though she wasn't
a gregarious person.  Physically, she was the type of Asian American female
that you assume (or at least hope!) is a smoker - yet I never saw her smoke on
campus outside of class.

Then one afternoon during the last week of classes, I was holding an
off-campus review section for the final exam at a local coffeehouse.  Many of
the Asian American students seemed quite comfortable that their tutor smoked
during office hours and so sometimes would even come meet me just to smoke and
chat out on the patio.  During that particular review session, I noticed that
Suzie had brought with her a pack of Marlboro Menthols and proceeded to light
up with the rest of us.  What a sight.  I was amazed that I had never seen her
smoke on campus, because this was a young woman who clearly was not bashful
about her smoking.  Indeed, she KNEW she looked good.  On occasion she would
take a deep puff and then open her mouth before inhaling the ball.  Yikes!  It
was difficult to answer questions and keep my eye on Suzie smoking at the same

During our discussion, someone made note of the fact that everyone of us was
smoking.  One guy added, "Man, it would be so much easier if everybody in the
coffeehouse smoked so we wouldn't have to move out here."

"I know," one girl concurred.  "I wish everybody smoked."

Suzie had remained silent up to this point and finally volunteered the
comment, "Be careful what you wish for."  I watched her bring the white 100 up
to her lips, take a final puff, and then toss it over the railing into the
parking lot.  There was only a momentary pause until someone asked me a
question about the final exam, and we moved on from our discussion of what we
all thought would be an ideal world.  But Suzie's comment stuck in mind for
days afterwards.  What did she mean by it?

During finals week the students were required to hand in papers.  Suzie was
late in doing so and brought it by my apartment.  I invited her in and we
talked for a while.  Luckily my roommate was out so I asked her if she wanted
a cigarette.  I told her we had to go into my bedroom because my roommate
didn't smoke.  She followed me and I closed the door behind us.

I sat on the bed and she on a chair facing me.  Between us was a stack of
boxes where I put the ashtray and pulled out my pack of Saratogas (okay, okay
- I love 120 cigarettes!)  I was so eager to see her hold one of those 120s.
She had the perfect build for it.  When she lit it, I could feel my excitement
growing between my legs.  She held her cigarette up high at about
shoulder-length - the smoke just curling up towards the ceiling.  When she
would take a puff, she would put the cigarette in the corner of her mouth and
wrap her lips tightly around it; always a deliberate puff and then the ball of
smoke would disappear down her throat.  Her exhales were beautiful.  She'd
turn her head casually to the left and then with a tilt of the face upwards
slowly blow out a cone of smoke.  It was quite exciting.  

"I'm sorry we have to smoke in here," I said, trying to ease any
uncomfortableness that she might have had being in the bedroom of her teacher
(though she conveyed no discomfort!)  "Sometimes I really wish my roommate
smoked, too.  I wouldn't have to hide in here."

Suzie dropped her eyes to the ashtray on the box and tapped her Saratoga over
it.  She seemed suddenly pensive (just as she had been at the review session
the week before) at what I had said.  Should I be bold and ask her what she
meant by that comment?  I decided I would.

"Suzie, what did you mean when you said last week, 'Be careful what you wish

Suzie French-inhaled a puff as she sat back thoughtfully in the chair.  "When
I was 15, I got caught smoking by my parents.  They were both very anti, as
was my sister.  So I made a wish."  She paused for a moment to finish blowing
out a stream of smoke from her lungs.  "I wished that they all smoked."  She
took another puff and exhaled it with a hiss.  "Had I known what the
consequences would have been, I would have thought twice about making that

Suzie looked at me, seeing a broad smile on my face.  "You think I'm kidding,"
she said to me as she stubbed out her cigarette.

"Aren't you?"

Suzie reached for my pack sitting on the box between us.  "I hope you've got
some time," she said.  "This story may run a little long...."


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