Today at the busstop…

11 02 2009

Today at the bus stop a woman asked me for a cigarette.

She was carrying two handfuls of bags, her hair was mussed and matted with rain, and she had perhaps six teeth in her mouth. She had crossed the road from under the protective cover of the doctor building across the street. Her jacket was weighted down with water, so I imagined it had not been her first crossing.

She stood too close and spoke directly to my nose, speaking with the distinct nasal sounds of someone with a disability, yelling to make sure I would hear her: CAN I HAVE A CIGARETTE PLEASE?

“No.”

She nodded – OK, still shouting – and walked to the bench and plopped down, where she began to wail and cry and scream at the empty street.

I turned my iPod up – it was, after all, Britney Spears – so that I didn’t have to hear her anymore.

Some days, I’m saying something; some days, I’m just saying…

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5 responses

11 02 2009
Jere Keys

I HATE cigarette mooches on the street. When I was smoking, I actually made it a point of having an (extra) empty box in my pocket so I could pull it out, flash the empty contents and say “sorry, last one.”

11 02 2009
Amy in Ohio

Well, from a totally selfish standpoint, I wish you’d give all those smokes away. I want you to live a long and healthy life so we can eat fattening food and drink large amounts of booze well into our golden years.

11 02 2009
F6's Editor

Here in Fort Wayne we get the cyclical mooches so I have a rule: first one of the month is charity, after that hard coinage is necesary. I smoke and even though I burn cigarillos because they are stronger and cheaper that is still my hard earned buck fifty, literally, that purchased them; so if you want one it is a quarter, gotta make a profit on a vow of poverty somehow.

12 02 2009
Montgomery Maxton

you smoke fags?

12 02 2009
Quim

Asking for a cigarette when they were, like, $6 a carton was pretty trivial. Nowadays you’re really asking for something.
Smoking is a rich man’s habit these days.

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