A cigarette in the evening
There are moments in life; snapshots. Small, insignificant moments that somehow feel as if they hold some overwhelming significance. Tiny pieces of time that will forever be branded in your mind with astounding clarity. This is one of those moments.
It was night time and his room was enveloped in darkness. There is something immensely palpable about the dark which creates an entirely different atmosphere; evoking completely different experiences, provoking thought and encouraging reflection.
He wasn’t exactly sober but he hadn’t touched a drink all night. Pressing, but not uncomfortable, silences stretched between the two of us. The thick, silent atmosphere of the night dissuading either of us from breaking its peace. He sits behind his desk in his favourite chair, swivelled just slightly in order to better see out of the solitary window. His silhouette was darker than the cloudy sky outside but I could still make out the tight ringlet curls atop his head that I loved and he hated. I could distinctly feel the cold emanating from the window from my seat atop his desk. I had my legs crossed, right over left, and a ghost of a smile on my face; recognizing this moment as something special.
He was not a smoker but he held a cigarette loosely between his two fingers and lips. Its red embers appearing startlingly bright in the dark room, unwittingly and inevitably drawing our attention to it. My eyes watched the glow of the cigarette unerringly, waiting for the bright flare as he casually raised it between his lips and took a drag. Watching the smoke curl from his mouth as he exhaled was satisfying in a way that few things are. Unique, perhaps, only to fire. The blue-grey smoke curled towards the ceiling, moving hypnotically and unpredictably, moved by an invisible force before dissipating and vanishing from my scrutiny.
He had his eyes closed, completely immersed in the blissful experience. I hated that he made smoking look so appealing. The clouds were lined with silver as a watery moon emerged slightly from behind them, bathing the room in an eerie silver light. Another drag of his cigarette, another flare, more hazy blue smoke slowly unfurling upwards. I watched as the cigarette was slowly consumed by the orange glow. A casual movement of his hand and a lazy flick of his thumb transfixed me. The silence continued to drag on. It was still a comfortable silence; all of our silences were. I was glad neither of us felt the need to fill the space between us with words. In a moment like this it would only have tainted the atmosphere.
We were content to remain immersed in our own thoughts. I do not know what he was thinking but I marvelled, yet again, about the intense awareness I had of this moment. It was a small snapshot in time; barely a glimpse, shared between two. It was a moment that could not and would not be forgotten. I did not want to forget this. Us. At that place, at that time.
I couldn’t forget his dorm room, enveloped in darkness or his relaxed figure lounging in a chair and lost in thought. I would always remember sitting on his desk with my legs crossed; refraining myself from tugging at that stray curl over his forehead. I wanted to memorise the lazy enjoyment he got smoking the cigarette, the smouldering red glow of the ember, its vivid flare, the blue-grey smoke curling slowly, unfurling towards the ceiling. It was a moment I truly wished would last forever and so I relished in the atmosphere, savouring every second and cherishing these special moments, just for me.