Saturday, July 7, 2007


Lots of people smoke while driving their mopeds here in Naples. When I smoked -- I was never "a smoker," too inconsistent to warrant the sobriquet -- I liked to do so above all in a bar with a beer. I didn't even like smoking outside because the second-hand smoke I needed to enjoy smokng first-hand is too diluted in the great outdoors (though I did take some pleasure smoking around a campfire...a different sort of second-hand smoke). Smoking with coffee was okay, but too early in the morning. Smoking between courses in a restaurant in Italy before the smoking ban felt so naughty after not being able to smoke within fifty feet of outdoor tables in Berkeley, it made every smoke that much tastier.

The last cigarettes I was smoking were Gauloises reds. The last cigarette I smoked was in July 2005. I am still breastfeeding La Bimba, so no smoking...yet. I cannot say with conviction that I will never smoke again, but I hope I don't because it is a disgusting habit and my teeth are already yellower since my coffee addiction. I had never had a cup of coffee in my life before I moved to Italy, something I was annoyingly proud of. Now I can't wait for that cappuccino freddo. With a brioche. I had stopped eating wheat in California. The intestinal tract is a fickle friend.

Smoking on the beach always made me feel ill. I once took a drag off a Russian cigarette and had to immediately find a toilet. Who needs Miralax? I smoked Camel Lights in Madison, Wisconsin because that's what my friend S. smoked. I smoked Winstons, not lights, in Seaside Heights, New Jersey and lost about 15 pounds that summer since I paired those fags with Seabreezes and no dinner. Or lunch. I don't mind Marlboro Reds, but the Lights are gross. The Husband smokes Pall Malls, sometimes Blue (lights), mostly Red, when he runs out of the Marlboros my parents and other Americans bring him through the Duty Free.

In college, Colleen smoked Benson & Hedges. I don't like 100s, too long, can't balance them between my fingers. I can't blow smoke rings or french inhale. I never understood why people smoked menthols. Do they really have fiberglass particles in them? And why are they marketed to black people? My mom used to smoke L&Ms. Z's parents won washing machines and other large appliances by being faithful to Viceroys. Philip Morris is a huge supporter of concert dance. My grandpa Jack couldn't talk on the phone without smoking. My grandma Daurcy smoked on the couch in the den, in front of Tom & Jerry and a plate of Sara Lee pound cake that rested on the small, square, dark blue and green tiled table. The door from the den to the garden was sealed shut by then, Papa Myer's tomato plants a distant, juicy memory. Their house is a vacant lot today.

Huber beer cost $5 a case in Madison in 1990. Those went well with smoking. Wine, preferably, red goes great with smoking.

I hope La Bimba never smokes.

1 comment:

sognatrice said...

I come from a house full of smokers--and I hate smoke, have never tried, never would. My OH comes from non-smokers and has smoked for most of his life. What's a parent to do? Mah. I also hope La Bimba never smokes.