Hooked in Utero

“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.”



12 thoughts on “Hooked in Utero

  1. Good connection. I remember Borkum riff from the times when Mr. Swiss smoked a pipe now and again, but not cherry. It was so long ago, when we were young and lovely.

    • Thank you! You’re right. I think we don’t get half of what’s happening. We don’t get – I didn’t get – the reality that things happen ONCE. It’s very hard to grasp the meaning of a moment when you haven’t experienced many of them. 🙂

      • And then we realise that, everyday, we’re given the opportunity for ‘moments.’ We just rush through most and don’t stop to take in the scenery.

  2. It’s a great smelling pipe tobacco … a little harsh in a cigarette maybe. But ah the joys of tobacco addiction. I was SURE I wouldn’t get hooked. Positive. Absolutely, no way.

    And 25 years later, third time cold turkey did it.

    • It was very smooth. I knew at that moment that I was already hooked, so I let Doug finish it. I’ve had 13 cigarettes in my life, each of them marked a special, unforgettable moment. 🙂

  3. You capture a slice of being young, Martha, and unleashed some memories of my own: things I did so in the moment I would appear cool to those important to me at the time. Some ventures worked out well, some didn’t, all were part of growing and changing, and I’d probably do them all over again.

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