I have the window opened a little more than a crack, and the faint smell of cigarette smoke is snaking its way into the room. I imagine our neighbor next door standing on her deck out back to keep the smell of smoke out of her house and away from her little boy. Growing up, my father smoked like a mad man. There are pictures of him, at thirteen years old, sneaking a smoke in the back of a building somewhere. When we were little, and would go through old photographs, my siblings and I couldn't get over how bad he must have been to be smoking at thirteen. We couldn't even imagine.
Our house smelled like smoke--the curtains, the furniture, our clothes--everything. When my father turned forty, his mother was diagnosed with lung cancer--from being a smoker her entire life. Her ugly, painful death from this disease made my father give up smoking. He simply stopped one day and never smoked again.
Although I've never been a smoker, there are times I get the urge to buy myself a pack of cigarettes. It's the strangest thing. I imagine myself in some secluded spot, sneaking a cigarette or two then coming back to a life where that's not something I would ever do in a million years.