Friday, March 11, 2011

got a light?

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young

I wanted a cigarette.  Really wanted a cigarette.

I was driving home from a party, around ten o'clock, the sunroof open and a back window cracked so the breeze would circle around and blow directly at my face. 

I had just reached the spot in the road where I know to move to the middle lane or be forced to u-turn and head back to Plano, when the craving hit.  Out of the blue, just like the continuing waves of grief. 

Where did this come from?  It's been years since I smoked, but tooling down the frontage road that night, all I wanted was a Merit Light.  For the next seven miles I tried to figure out why.

Obviously, B and B and Bob Dylan are to blame. 

Spoke and I met our friends Jack and Beth for dinner the other night.  After the meal and a wee bit of coconut cake with a black coffee, I ordered a B and B.  "No, neat," I told the very young waiter when he asked if I'd like it on the rocks. 

Beth ordered a Sambuca.  It came slightly chilled, not a coffee bean to be found.  She likes it with fly and she doesn't like it chilled. 

I know this because for many years we would sip B and B or Sambuca late at night, listening to everything from Humble Pie to Janis Ian.  For hours, snifters glowed and smoke filled the air, occasional smoke rings floated over the table. 

We had few responsibilities and fewer worries.  As that changed, as we grew up, we each quit smoking.  Is the B and B as good now, I considered, sitting at a red light.

May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young

My sister had a birthday this week.  Her 39th.  Yet again.

It was made festive thanks to several ladies.  There was wine, plates of appetizers, more wine, pasta and pizza.  More wine.  Bob Dylan provided my birthday toast to her, which I asked Beth to read, knowing I might cry because the celebration, though much fun, was still missing something for us....... missing Mom. 

May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift

It was a perfect storm that made me want a cigarette as I drove home; love, pain, family, friendship, food, fun, the past, the future, all colliding. 

The week was swirling through my mind, like the wind swirling through the car. 

May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

                 Forever Young by Bob Dylan

Last cigarette: Labor Day weekend,
1991, early afternoon
175,200 hours ago

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