Thursday, November 24, 2011

Smoking in August

There was never enough room on the bus for me to start with. The twelve empty seats couldn't accommodate the guilt that I was carrying with me in my pockets. I knew that stealing the last pack of cigarettes from under my dad's table would drive him crazy, but I did it anyway.

I hate cigarettes, but I love making smoke come out of my mouth. I find it to be an apt representation of my anger. I just wish I didn't have to depend on cancer ridden sticks, carefully packaged for my hidden desires. In Canada, cigarettes and smoke represent a tarnished and mutilated history of native culture. Stolen from the wisdom of elders, and turned into the deadliest of tools, cigarettes embody the theft of Turtle Island.

Despite the blood stained carton packs decorating my room, I crave the fire in my hands. Like a fool, I mistake pettiness for power. Around the world, there is more readily available access to cigarettes than clean water. For the poor, cigarettes replace food for fuel. Flicking away the facts, I recluse to my red bubble, and hold up my smokes in radical rejoice of my so called resistance.

It would be unfair to step on the truth in my limited lopsided lashing of lighting cigarettes. As such, I must openly embrace those memories spent in Baghdad smoking the night away. The stench of despair in the air coupled with the coughs of burning lungs captures the dying days of Iraq in a way nothing else can. For that, I hate and love cigarettes the same.