Friday, November 1, 2013

Smoking - A Cautionary Tale

Molly walked out of the office for her hourly smoke. "I should really try to quit", she thought while pulling her parka vest closed. She was recovering from a cold and didn't want to relapse. The weather was dark and gloomy. Molly could tell that it was going to rain, she could smell it in the air. She walked out to the picnic table in the parking lot. She had to stand at least fifteen feet away from the building to enjoy her imported cigarettes. The picnic table and adjacent garbage bin marked the closet spot she was allowed to be. 

She stood by the metal and plastic structures, hunched over and cupping her lighter with both hands she lit a cigarette. It was early November on Long Island, cold but not too cold. Molly stood comfortably outside, preoccupied with her phone as she raised the long thin paper cylinder from her lips . The other smoke cohorts abandoned her for the warmth of the office. "Wusses", she said under her breath. She enjoyed these daily interludes, bonding over their shared guilty pleasure and gossiping about colleagues. Blowing smoke from her nostrils and thinking about a particular snarky fellow accountant, she felt sudden moister drip onto her nose. She looked up to the cloudy overhead and drew in tobacco laced breathes with haste to beat the rain. A sudden downpour fell upon her as if the heavens were pelting water balloons onto the earth below. She rushed to the side entrance and reached for her employee ID. Her pocket was empty. She stood in the rain, squinting and frantically running her hands over her jacket, attempting to locate the access card to enter the building, but to no avail. She raised her hands over her ears and bowed in defeat as she dashed around the corner to the main entrance. She opened the first door and stood in the vestibule twisting her long locks and shaking her limbs like a dog drying itself. She tapped on the security glass at the receptionists, mirroring the urgency of the rain tramping against the roof. She gestured at the door to get the receptionist to grant her access. Kelly looked up from her computer screen, startled at Molly's appearance. She raised an eyebrow in disdain and got up from behind the desk. She walked to the door and pushed the security lash. She stuck her head out and said, "I can't let you in with that thing in your mouth." Only then did Molly realize that the extinguished damp cigarette still hung limply from her lips. She discarded it in the waste basket and sheepishly crept by Kelly, who stood in the narrow door way holding it open. "I need a smoke", thought Molly sullenly as she entered the office, leaving behind her a path of wet footsteps in the beige carpeting.

No comments:

Post a Comment