Second Hand Smoke

No good. When you visit yer Ma in the ICU and she awakes screamin’ from payne. People rush and do and whatnot ; and after an hour when you have to leave because she’s too weak and she says its better and payne-free, and too weak to speak more or to interact, just sleep and forget and cheat death for another twelve hours. Something went wrong there.
And when you recollect what has happened before ; and when you remember your own experiences with pretty large and payneful operations and see what has happened here – you come to the conclusion things need to be changed. Especially when we talk about an op that deals with cancer, and – most important – when only some miles away there is a clinic specialised in the cancer that kills women.
So you find yerself in the middle of the night standing on a children’s playground with yer portable clinched to your ear searching for the cigarette machine. It must be somewhere around here. Peeing in the hedge is alright ( I say so and I know what I’m talking about ; of course way away from where the kiddies roam, but next to where the dogs shit ) ; it’s nearly full moon. The world depends on a Chesterfield, and after all, with my on and off relation to smoke, alc and whatnot, this cigarette will save the world, the creation, the cosmos.
Things need to be talked through, decisions need to be made – or, at least, some way, some direction, some kind of orientation needs to be found and given – NOW ! — no matter what time, what state of fear, or panic ; alcohol, for those of us, who know how to use the drug, may come in handy, as cigarettes may do – does this qualify as second-hand-smoke ?
The artificial paradises do not work, never ; payne wounds and hurt is real, death is lingering at the door. Some folks get going when the situation gets tense, others just can’t cope ; it’s all right, experience helps – I could not work as a nurse in an op theatre, but I can do the hospice thing. It’s all about emotion, and man that’s a force, you can stand it or not ; no shame, it’s like war : You have only one go.




What stays.
Feeling. Images. Something we take with us into our own eternity. Possibly music or other art that expresses what we meant ; the chance for the descendants to see, to realise, and of course to frighten – “Huch ! It’s something already felt ! I am not original, but I am me,  HEY !”
What always stays, is Fear. We all go into the unknown land, sooner or later. Who goes first, waits for the others. No escape.
So. There.



9 thoughts on “Second Hand Smoke

  1. When I was in high school, the father of one of my friends was stricken with lung cancer from heavy smoking. I visited him in the hospital two times. A once strong and vigorous man was quickly ravaged by the disease and looked like a gaunt, hollow-eyed death camp inmate. And yet … and yet he craved to smoke on his death bed in the hospital. The doctor relented and allowed it as it made no difference at that point.

  2. It must be very distressing to see someone so close to you like that, and as you say very eloquently, it reminds us of the greatest and most difficult realisation we will ever have–of our own mortality. A good friend of mine is facing the same problem, and she’s only young, with two children who aren’t even teenagers yet.

    Just on a purely stylistic level, the (unintentional?) juxtaposition of your lovely but quite bleak photograph of the house and field the other day, and your necessarily flat and melancholy prose of today–both have the same austere attraction.

    OK that’s encough compliments for one day. I’m English, we don’t give them out like sweets. :)

  3. The body has a strange chemical memory LX. These Chesterfields are my relapse ; it’s generally no good idea to quit smoking in a stressful time. HA – as I type I look up – and the moon comes over the horizon : full, fat, and orange dot in bluish clouds.

    I am fed up with tough times, Norma, I want easy times for GOd’s sake !

    I think you are right, Z.

    I know this, dear MsScarlet, and thank you for it.

    That’s cruel, Looby, isn’t it !
    “Austere attraction” – like in “master of doomgloom” ? My vocabulary is not large enough for bla. Thank you for the compliment, charmer.

    BTW: The moon came over the horizon, was fully visible for ca. two minutes, and then vanished in the bluish clouds. No trace, absolutely no hint that it is there, just swallowed.

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