There is no spoon, Part 1

(by, 06 January 2000)

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There is No Spoon (part 1 of 2)    

    'You're absolutely sure that your parents are out for the night ?' 
Christina asked Mary nervously.
    Mary sighed. It was the most beautiful night possible to smoke and she 
was going to spend it with someone who was scared out of her mind.
    'I already spoke to them, Chrissy. They checked into the hotel an hour 
ago and it's a four hour drive back here. They won't be home until noon 
tomorrow. Now, do you want to usher in the new millennium by fulfilling your 
New Year's resolution or not ?' 
    She was anxious herself- but only to light a cigarette from the new pack. 
It was cool, in the upper forties, but beneath the starry sky the humidity 
was standing at 100 percent. The smoke from their cigarettes would be thick 
and lazy, absolutely creamy perfection. You would be able to stand in your 
exhales and breath the smoke a second time. What could possibly be better 
than that ?
    'You're sure this will work ?'
    'You'll take a shower after you get up in the morning and I'll wash your 
clothes. Unless you tell your Mom your were smoking, she never has to know. I 
used to do the same thing all the time before I finally got the courage to 
tell Mom and Dad I was smoking. And I can't see where your Mom will react any 
different when she finds out, anyway. She's very pro-smoking just like they 
    'I don't even know if I'll like it yet- and I'm so fucking nervous.'
    Mary refilled her friend's champagne glass.
    'Drink. It lowers your inhibitions.'
    'I wish Tommy was here.'
    'Tommy isn't here. Now, are you going to try this, or do just want to 
watch me ? It's up to you.'
    'You won't laugh at me when I choke and gag ?' Christina asked nervously.
    'I'll be surprised if you don't take right to it. Listen, your mom 
smokes in front of you all the time, you're always over at my house and we 
all smoke, all our friends smoke. You're used to it, whether you know it or 
not. And if you don't, I'm just out a few cigarettes. No big deal.'
    Christina sighed. Her sigh was a marvelous heaving of breasts and a face p
out that caused Mary to have occasional fantasies about losing her virginity 
a most unusual way.
    They walked down the stairs and out into the backyard. Mary set her glass 
down on the deck, cracked back the box top and pulled two cigarettes out. She 
tossed her red hair behind her back and lit them both. She then handed one to 
Christina, smiling supportively as she took the first drag on her own.
    It was possible for humanity to reach closer to heaven, at least on a 
night like this.
    Christina took the cigarette in her trembling hand and lifted it to her 
mouth. she wrapped her lips around it and drew smoke into her mouth. She 
tasted it, held it, and exhaled.
    'I liked that,' she said, the smoke from her mouth muffling her words.
    Mary wanted to kiss her, to trap that smoke before it could escape, but 
she didn't. It would only freak both of them out.
    Besides, if Christina didn't do something about Tommy soon, she would.
    'Now try inhaling, okay ? Just a little.'
    'Show me.'
    Mary doubted her friend needed to see an exhale be she was willing to 
humour her a little. They both had resolutions about Christina's smoking- 
hers was just a secret one. It was no fun when your best friend didn't smoke 
and you did. No fun at all, but that had just changed, hadn't it ? She drew 
on the cigarette and exhaled slowly.
    Watching raptly, Christina knew she was ready to try this next step.

    As her daughter was inhaling for the first of many times, Deborah was 
wondering precisely that. Her daughter had seemed so excited about going over 
to Mary's house and that while that was not unusual- she remembered fondly 
sleepovers- there was something different today. An urgency. And she knew 
what she used to do when she would go over to Ellen Brown's house. There 
would be five or six of them- Ellen's parents were always traveling. They 
would get together and lock the front door and spend the night smoking and 
drinking and talking about boys.
    Why couldn't adult life be that simple ?
    Deb admired her daughter's place in life, and it would be a shame if she 
wasn't taking full advantage of it.
    Looking in the fridge, she saw she still had a bottle of champagne left 
over from the Christmas Eve party.
    Knowing what she was doing was wrong, she picked up the phone and dialed 
the Carpenter's house as she lit a cigarette. Then she hung up, before it 
could even ring.
    Maybe later.
    Christina was taking a second inhale when they saw a man walking into the 
back yard. Christina nearly dropped her cigarette in fright, and sensing the 
mistake that her friend was about to make, Mary put her hand on Christina's 
wrist, stopping her.
    'Hello, Mr. Smith.'
    'Beautiful night, isn't it ?' he said, the light of the half-moon 
framing his smile. He was a gorgeous man in both their eyes, pushing thirty, 
but not hard. They were both in his Western Religions class at Jackson Hole 
and each had admitted to the other their short lived crush on him. Of course, 
as a close neighbour these last four years, Mary had two- no three- brief 
crushes on him since puberty.
    'I could stand out here all night and smoke cigarettes, staring at the 
stars,' Mary said honestly enough.
    'There are certainly worse ways to pass an evening,' he said agreeably 
in that rich, well-schooled voice of his, still strong with an educated 
British accent.
    'Would you like one ?' Mary asked, mortifying her friend, who only 
wanted him to go away so that she could experiment in peace.
    'Sure,' he said, and Christina watched amased as Mary put his cigarette 
in her own mouth and dexterously lit it with the same hand. She then passed 
it to him and he took it with that same warm smile and drew deeply on it.
    'I didn't know that you smoked, Christina,' he said. There was 
disappointment in his voice, but Christina had the strange feeling that it 
for an unusual reason. Not a disappointment at all that she smoked, but 
rather that she'd been hiding something from him.
    'I don't. I mean, I didn't. But I've been wanting to, and Mary was more 
than willing to help get me started. You don't think we're too young to be 
smoking, do you ?' she asked, taking a long and attractive draw on her 
cigarette, already liking the way it made her feel, although she was getting 
slightly dizzy from the effort.
    'Good God, no. The cigarette was invented to give an attractive woman 
another weapon in her arsenal of entrapment. And we men love being entrapped 
by attractive women. To be honest, I was just out from my nightly ramble when 
I saw the glow of your cigarettes. I was drawn like a moth to the flame.'
    Mary exhaled a dense cloud of creamy sweetness.
    'You'd better be careful, Mr. Smith. We're only sixteen.'
    He blew smoke at Christina and smiled.
    'Too young to touch, but not too young to flirt with, I hope.'
    The girls' gentle laughs were music to his ears. The truth was, just 
watching them smoke was enough to make the evening special.
    'I can't think of anyone I'd rather flirt with right now,' Christina 
said, amasing her friend with her openness.
    'Like the pyramids. I can look on the beauty all day, and never feel the 
need to touch them.'
    'Have you been to Egypt ?'
    'Just once. Marvelous place. But the food takes a bit of getting used to, 
I'm afraid.'
    Mary carried the portable phone in her pocket when she smoked outside- no 
sense missing the opportunity to tell the telemarketers her parents weren't 
    'Carpenter household.'
    'Mary ?'
    'Yes, Ms. Cross. What's up ?'
    Christina cringed. There was a pause as her mother spoke.
    'No. Actually, we're out back talking to Mr. Smith. He's a neighbour, 
you know.'
    Another pause.
    'Of course I'm smoking. Would you waste a night like this one ?'
    Yet another pause. Christina was madly smoking down the cigarette as 
though she knew she would never have another.
    'I didn't think so.'
    Mr. Smith watched Christina smoking with the open appreciation of a 
connoisseur and she slowed to a rational pace.
    'A bottle of champagne ? Ask Mr. Smith to stick around. Of course.'
    She ended the call to Christina's mortification.
    'My mother is coming over ? Why in the hell did you do that ?'
    Ignoring her panicky friend, Mary looked at her teacher and gave him her 
best exhale.
    'Can I trust you to stay ?'
    'If Christina's mother is coming by, you would need explosives to 
dislodge me, I assure you.'
    'Why did you do that ?' Christina whined.
    'Oh, please. Don't take this the wrong way, but you're mom is lonely. 
Otherwise she would never have called.'
    'But I'm enjoying our smoking.'
    Mr. Smith interrupted before Mary could rebuke her friend. 'Please, 
Christina. Your mother seems like the rational sort. Give her a bit of credit 
for not being entirely a cretin.'
    'What does that mean ?' she asked as all three of them finished their 
cigarettes. Without asking, Mary lit three more, handed one to Mr. Smith, and 
then the second to Christina, who hesitated.
    'Take it. Your Mom is twenty minutes from here, for Christ's sake.'
    Christina took the cigarette and he continued.
    'Everyone in this town knows Mary smokes. The five people who didn't saw 
her smoking on stage during Morning's End- you were a marvelous Annette, 
Mary. Your mother allowed you to come over here on a night when her parents 
are out of town. Of course you will smoke. She expects that. And it might be 
a source of great relief for her.'
    'Huh ?' Christina said, drawing on her cigarette for support.
    'You look as though you are taking to smoking- thank you for small 
blessings, Lord- but you need to learn a few things about smokers. Parents 
who smoke know that their children will try smoking. They'd just as soon it 
was gotten out of the way. I'm sure she's felt guilty about leading you down 
the smoking path by example. The best thing she could hope for is to discover 
that you are smoking and you enjoy it. It will relieve her- and smokers 
prefer being around smokers. That's just common sense. She'll be able to 
enjoy your company more knowing you smoke, trust me.'
    'I don't know.'
    'There's only one way to find out,' Mary said.

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