Coffee & Electronic Cigarettes

Cigarettes are chic, arty & make one more interesting. Everything from French New Wave Cinema to indie films from the 90’s feature characters who love themselves a good ciggie. There is something aesthetically pleasing from observing someone smoking.

For example, French women love their Paris cafes. Their art of sipping a cafe au lait & then smoking a cigarette is surprisingly chic. Watching the air blow into the (almost) perpetually grey Paris sky is almost a work of art.

Not so glamorous, were my times smoking cigarettes behind the 7-11 in my school uniform. However, cigarettes were not so much about sophistication but rebellion. It was an escape from my right winged school atmosphere.

Fast forward into my adulthood, I was living in New York City & traveling. Cigarettes were expensive (still are). However, I found a way to budget them into my already tight budget. Some of my fondest memories were hanging out on the stoop with my neighbors. We’d smoke a couple cigarettes, talk & even put on a play or two.

There were plenty of perks with being a smoker. When I was in Tokyo, they still had smoking sections both outside & in restaurants + cafes. I loved the smoking sections in the coffee shops. It was nice & quiet. It enhanced the coffee tasting experience. The outdoors smoking section (the Japanese don’t want you to walk & smoke) was as much as a bonding experience as my stoop.

It’s an unexpected subculture for Tokyo. Tokyoites who ignore anti-smoking campaigns, love it. Businessmen, chic ladies who do lunch, Harajuku girls, punks & other Tokyo subcultures gather in that one spot with a common goal, which is to smoke an awesome cigarette. The smoking sections are set aside all over the Japanese capital (along busy sidewalks), distinguishing the smokers from the non-smokers.

On a trip to London, I bought a pack of Pall Malls. They sounded very English & proper. So, I smoked one while walking in Camden & yuck. It tasted rancid. Not even a gourmet coffee could diminish that flavor. Did I enjoy a few ciggies? duh. It was delightful having a drink at the pub & then going outside, feeling wide awake from the chilly London winter & smoking a ciggie.

Returning to the States, something odd happened. I began hating the taste of cigarettes. Every time I lit one, inhaled & blew the smoke out, the sensation remained, but I quickly wanted a mint. Two months after London, I stopped smoking. However, it didn’t take me long to start over again. My brain still loved the sensation. In June of last year, I decided to quit cold turkey. No patches, no gum, I just stopped.

Amazingly, I wasn’t craving it. Of course, I’ve snuck in a cigarette or two, since quitting. Also, every once in a while, I’ll get a craving. I tried smoking. However, this time I had difficulties inhaling the smoke. When I walk around, my fingers are still in cigarette smoking mode.

Recently, my friend Melinda introduced me to the electronic cigarette (some have nicotine, some do not). I took a couple puffs. It felt euphoric. Driving around, I could smoke my electronic cigarette in the car with the windows up. It could be smoked anywhere, which makes it great for not having to go out in shit weather.

Tokyo, New York & even the 7-11 back parking lot made for great cigarette smoking memories. London was my last hurrah when it came to chain smoking. Now, modern technology has revolutionized cigarettes quenching the craving sans the nicotine. As always, it still pairs up great with a big cup of coffee.

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