True Story

(by anonymous, 13 October 2005)


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Dear Friends:

This story is a true one, and anyone looking for kinky sex or lesbian lovers 
or pornography of that kind will be heartily disappointed.  If, however, you 
are interested in what goes on in the mind of a real female smoker, what she 
feels, why she smokes, etc., you may enjoy this. 

This is a first draft and a rather rambling one at that. It's the result of 
my efforts to thrash out my feelings about my smoking, which are ambivelent.

Due to the fact that some stories on this sight are pornographic, and I do 
not wish to be considered someone who writes pornography, I would prefer to 
remain anonymous. 

Thanks, and enjoy. 


****************
For as long as I can could remember, I found smoking fascinating. 

I was born in the early 1960's, when all adults seemed to smoke. One of my 
earliest memories was when I was two years old, watching my mother get ready 
to entertain my Grandma and Grandpa.  My mother stood in the bathroom mirror 
of our small duplex as she teased her hair.  A cigarette smoldered in an 
ashtray on the sink.  From time to time my mother would pick up the cigarette 
and place it between her full lips and her cheeks would cave in as she took a 
deep drag. I listened to the quiet crackling and watched the slow glow as my 
mother pulled deeply on the cigarette, finally drawing the cigarette away 
from her mouth with a soft inrush of breath.  After a few seconds my mother 
pursed her lips and, with a small "pphh" expelled a silky stream of billowing 
smoke against the mirror, where the smoke silently bounced off the shining 
surface and  tumbled over itself in waves, wafting languidly in gentle 
clouds. 

After the intial exhale, soft feathers of down-like smoke wisped out of 
Mother's nostrils for several breaths, dissapating softly to nothing.  
Watching my mother exhale smoke was a moment of pure beauty for me. My 
mother's soft breathing sounds, the crackle and  glow of the cigarette, and 
especially the dreamy clouds billowing from my mother's lips and the wisps 
that trailed from her nostrils shook me profoundly. That my mother was able 
to produce such beauty was a memory I carried with me into adulthood. 

At some point in my childhood, my parents quit smoking.  I do not remember 
when they quit, or what difficulty they may have had in doing so.  By the 
time I began kindergarten, my parents' smoking days were behind them. From 
what I was able to pick up by eavesdropping into her parents' conversations, 
it seems that my mother had a much more difficult time quitting than did my 
father Ken. "I know that if I ever smoked a cigarette again that I would not 
be able to quit," Mom would say to friends.  "My husband seemed to have no 
problems but it was hell for me."  Although Mom never said so, I gathered 
that it was Dad's idea to quit smoking, and that Mom had done so to please 
him. 

So I grew up in a nonsmoking home.  When the subject would come up, Dad 
vehemently derided smoking and said that anyone who continued to smoke after 
the Surgeon General's warning was either weak or stupid.  

On the other hand, Mom was noticeably silent during Dad's pontificating. When 
Dad stopped for air, Mom would admit that she knew it was bad for her, but 
she missed it. 

Between the anti-smoking campaigns on public service announcements and the 
health lectures at school, I began to despise cigarettes. For my 10th 
birthday, my father took her to a professional football game.  The man seated 
next to me lit a cigarette and I gagged theatrically and waved the smoke away 
with my hand. Dad grabbed my hand and told admonisned me in no uncertain 
terms for my rude behavior (How times have changed, and not for the better!  
Now yuppie parents encourage such rude behavior in their children.).  So I 
learned that however Dad was anti-smoking in the home, he was willing enough 
to live and let live in private. 

There was another place where Dad was silent about smoking: Family reunions.  
His mother, a widow, seemed to always have a cigarette in her hand.  Her face 
showed the toll that a long-time smoking habit takes on the skin, for she had 
deep wrinkles around her mouth and eyes gained from years of long deep drags 
off her cigarettes. She was trim and didn't eat much. Mostly, she smoked. And 
what a smoker she was!  I would often watch her from afar, as she practically 
devoured her Kents, drawing long and hard as her wrinkled cheeks collapsed.  
She would seem to swallow the smoke and digest it before releasing it slowly 
through two twin streams from her nostrils over several breaths.  As she 
smoked, she looked utterly relaxed and content, as if nothing more mattered 
in the world but her smoke. If that meant her skin aged prematurely, so be 
it.  Nothing seemed to matter but the deep satisfaction of taking another 
long puff off her Kents: utter peace and bliss amidst clouds of drifting 
smoke.   I wondered what it felt like to feel so content, exhaling all her 
tension in billowing clouds of smoke. My grandmother made it look delicious. 
But I worried anyway.  I loved her Grandma and didn't want her to die.

"Why do you smoke, Grandma?"  I asked her  one day.

"There's nothing in the world like it," Grandma answered in her Kentucky 
twang.  "It tastes so good, and it's relaxing. There's nothing better than 
smoking a cigarette after a meal, or when you first wake up. You just sort of 
tingle all the way to your toes when you smoke then."

"But it's bad for you," I  objected. "Can't you quit?  I don't want you to 
die."

"Honey, I don't want to quit. I've been smoking since I was pregnant with 
your Aunt when I was 19. Your Grandpa smoked, but I never did until my second 
baby. Your oldest uncle was still in diapers, and here I was pregnant with a 
second baby. One morning I woke up with a powerful craving.  The cigarette 
your Grandpa smoked just smelled so good, my mouth watered. I just wanted to 
grab the cigarette away from him and smoke it myself. Finally I just asked 
him for a cigarette.  He said, 'You're crazy, woman.  You don't smoke.'  

"'But I want to,'', I said. 'I really want a cigarette right now.'

"Your Grandpa looked at me like I was crazy, but he offered me a cigarette 
and lit me up.   I just took that cigarette and smoked it like I'd been 
smoking all my life--mmm, it was sooo good!  And that morning your Grandpa 
went out and bought me a carton of cigarettes, figuring it was just a 
crazy-pregnant-woman craving thing.  

"So did I, but after your aunt was born I still had a craving to smoke.  It 
never left.  During the Depression we didn't always have a lot of food, and 
most of it had to go to the kids, so lots of times I would just smoke when I 
was hungry.  I have plenty of food now, of course, but I still have that 
appetite for cigarettes. "

I pondered this.  I wondered what it would be like to feel that craving.  It 
was strange, but the idea of craving cigarettes excited me.  To feel an 
aching longing, a desperate hunger that could only be satisfied by inhaling 
smoke and then blowing it out in languid, beautiful clouds, to be clasped 
firmly in nicotine's grip, helplessly and hopelessly addicted, seemed 
glamorous.  What made it more glamorous than alcohol or drug addiction was 
the beauty the clouds of smoke created.  It allowed the addict a certain 
amount of creativity: the addict could quietly fill all the void and 
loneliness with clouds of smoke -- of self -- that had passed through the 
addict's body.

To bravely smoke in the face of overwhelming health risks also seemed 
beautiful to Tori. To stake one's entire life on a pleasure as transient as 
creating swirling clouds that dissipate -- there was something beautiful and 
doomed about that; it neccesitated a certain daunting courage and an absolute 
devotion to Beauty.  To sacrifice one's health, one's skin, one's lungs, to 
create dreams of beauty seemed an homage to Beauty itself. 

Of course, at the age of 10, I did not have the language to articulate these 
thoughts.  I merely found  the act of smoking to be quite beautiful and was 
moved by emotions I could not understand. 

As I approached adolescence my interest in smoking grew.  I would stare hard 
at passing strangers who smoked, look at their expressions of relief as they 
lit up and released pure beauty from their lips. I longed to see jets of 
smoke tumbling endlessly from my own mouth and watch them waver and collapse. 
Still, I resisted.  I was a "good girl" who loved singing in my high school 
chorus and I knew that smoking would alter my ability to sing well. 

Then my best girlfriend took to sneaking cigarettes from her stepfather and 
puffing on the sly. She began as awkwardly as one could imagine, emitting 
small balls of smoke from her mouth and not inhaling.  Eventually she taught 
herself to exhale sweet jets of smoke while I sat watching.  As I saw her 
send plumes of smoke into the air, I found my resistance weakening. I wanted 
to stare at smoke tumbling from my own mouth.  The desire to smoke filled my 
dreams--I would sleep at night and dream that I was inhaling smoke and 
blowing it out and my mind would fill with clouds. 

I finally succumbed one day.  One puff, one little puff, which I inhaled 
immediately.  I did not fuss around with this "getting used to puffing before 
you inhale" business. It felt as natural as breathing to me. It did not make 
me sick. It felt exactly as I had imagined. I tingled; I felt a sense of 
pleasure and relief --and, yes, wonder, as I produced a tumbling cloud of 
smoke for the first time. 

The next day I snuck a cigarette from the pack of a friend's mother, and when 
I got home, took it to the back yard and smoked it, I shot endless plumes 
into the air in long smoky sighs.  I took a second puff while smoke poured 
out of my nose.  I devoured that cigarette as I watched my grandmother devour 
hers. It felt absolutely natural and right. 

I intended to just smoke "for awhile, to get it out of my system."  I 
rationalized that I had been curious about it for so long that I would try it 
for awhile and give it up. It was fun, it was satisfying, it was beautiful. 

The next weekend my best friend and I chain-smoked an entire pack of Kools in 
my backyard while my parents were out bowling,  We finished the pack in about 
two hours, sending puff after swirling puff into the night air.

Over a matter of months, the inevitable happened.  All my friend and I wanted 
to do was smoke, and most of our planning involved working out ways to enable 
us to do so.  We bought packs out of vending machines.  She snuck packs from 
her stepfather's cartons. We suddenly developed a new love for taking a walk 
when we were together ("It's Ok, mom, really!  We can walk there; you don't 
need to give us a ride!") or "going to the mall to see a movie"--in reality 
we would just walk around the mall and smoke cigarette after cigarette 
contentedly for a few hours. We were both treading the well-worn path to 
helpless nicotine addiction, although neither of us knew it.  

By the time we began college, the both of us were confirmed smokers.  I don't 
remember that there was any time we decided we were "smokers", we just were. 

My parents eventually began smoking again in their early 40's.  They had 
seperated for awhile when my father had the terribly cliche'd "midlife 
crisis" and both of them turned back to that comforting solace during those 
stressful months. This was during the time that I, too, was treading the path 
towards smokerdom, and maybe a psychiatrist would say that is the reason I 
took it up.  I don't know.   

Oscar Wilde once wrote: "There are temptations which require strength and 
courage to yield to."  In his case, he probably was thinking about his  
temptation towards loving  other men, but for me, it was smoking. I did not 
want to start; when I started, I did not want to make it a permanent 
condition of my life--I intended to finish, someday.  Yet I started and I 
have not finished yet.  

You see, smoking is so much more than "smoking"--a fact that nonsmokers never 
seem to grasp. It is a form of self-expression.  It is a ravening hunger that 
is never quite sated (there is some masochistic pleasure I derive from this). 
 It is an homage to a never-ending story, a story that picks up when you 
light up, just where you left it when you extinguished your "last" cigarette. 
 There is never any "last" cigarette; there is only the next and the next and 
the next.  It is killing me:  I know it when I see the fine lines around my 
mouth, when I feel my lungs burn as I rush up stairs or I hike up a mountain. 
I hear my own death rattle in my morning cough and every time I clear my 
throat.

Yet I can temporarily appease the ravening hunger. I can feel the strange 
pleasure as the hunger creeps up on me by stealth.  My hunger is an iron fist 
wearing velvet gloves, or a fire slowly being stoked.  I created that hunger 
in myself and it sweetly demands I feed it. I light up--I inhale deeply.  
Ahhhh...sheer bliss, the tension and longing tumbling out of my mouth, 
filling my world with myself, spreading myself around. I take in the 
sacrament of smoke and release my blessings to the world.  When I smoke, it 
is all that matters at that moment.  It is of me and in me and around me, a 
holy ritual. I surround myself with myself, with beauty and peace. 


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