Monday, April 13, 2009

The Complete and Total Loser has a Cigar

The Complete and Total Loser quit a pack-a-day cigarette habit at age 25 in 1984 knowing he'd never stop if he put it off. The effort succeeded and to this day he breathes clean air deep.
Yesterday, inexplicably, he craved a cigar. This is odd, especially considering that he had never smoked one in his entire miserable, failure-ridden life.
He had won one in a jocular office raffle in 1998 and he knew that unlike the job he still had the cigar. After a little digging through drawers of the worthless crap he saves he found it. It's a Montenegro, "made in Mexico with the finest tobaccos selected leaf by leaf supreme quality," the box said. Inside, wrapped in thin paper, was a well-constructed sealed glass tube holding the cigar which did indeed look handmade. It was the kind you have to cut (or bite, if you're a 30's-era gangster) the end off of. The Loser cut a little with his Swiss Army knife, surprised that it didn't have a little attachment made for the purpose. He lit it and puffed.
woman smoking cigar
Suck hard. Harder.

Within five minutes his tiny, dank apartment smelled like a men's club and his mouth felt like a wet ashtray. An inch-long ash clung to the burning end. He resisted inhaling, knowing you don't do that with cigars and that he'd vomit if he did more than once, though he was tempted to do so and experience the dirty kick burning tobacco gives you.
For a moment, he fantasized that the cigar, a large one, would somehow imbue him with the arrogance of those who smoke them and that success would would follow. No such luck.
He doused the ember, let the remaining seven inches dry, and returned it to its home, where it will remain for another decade, give or take.

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