“C’mere. I want you to try something.”
Turned out, Doug was a species of “first time free man.” Doug was Malerie’s boyfriend. Malerie was a kind of a bitch. I knew them both from high school, but the contact lingered a few years longer.
I followed Doug out behind the house to a grassy knoll. We sat down like a couple of smugglers.
“You’re gonna’ love this,” he said. He took out a package of pipe tobacco. “Borkum Riff. Cherry flavor. It’s SO good.”
All I’d every smoked up till then was pot. The cigarettes my mom chain smoked were odious and odorous and I wanted no part of them. BUT at this moment I wanted Doug to think I was cool. Clearly he thought I was cool enough to be out here with him while everyone — including Malerie — was inside. He rolled the tobacco in a Zig-Zag paper and lit it. He took a drag and handed it to me. I took a hit, the cherry tobacco went deep into my lungs. For a moment everything in the world slowed down in happiness. Little neurons in my brain said, “Thank you. We’ve waited 19 years for this.”