Photo by Florian Berger on Unsplash

It’s been a long, hot day. As the sun went down though, wind got stronger. It’s colder now. People wear sweaters and shorts. It’s the kind of summer evening us folks in Quebec are used to. Still, I’m kind of enjoying myself. Played volleyball with co-workers minutes ago. I’m still outside now, with a t-shirt and a grey cardigan on.

I can see every detail of the damaged street below my feet (I should really wear my glasses more often: without them, I realize I can’t see shit.)  I’ve had three beers, maybe four. Whatever. We’re in an old, modest neighbourhood, ten minutes away from my mom’s. Spending summer home makes me realize how much I had missed my mother and sister. The guy standing next to me is talking about my ex-girlfriend. I can’t remember who brought it up. I don’t really care; I’m giving out blunt, honest answers. He nods. Moving on. All of my attention is focused on a single thing: smoking.

We’ve been smoking in this old-school pipe for a while now. Feels good. Pipe’s his grandfather’s; carved wood looks eerie. He says something about the value it holds. My turn to nod: I respect that. He also says it isn’t the best tobacco he’s bought. I don’t mind: I’ve had this urge to smoke since last week. Why? Can’t say. Asked a psychologist colleague of mine to analyze that, but she said she didn’t want to know shit about my personal life. Can’t blame her: it’s been pretty rollercoaster-like recently. Anyway, back to the sweet, almost harsh taste of the tobacco. He suggests not inhaling completely and blowing out the long puffs as soon as they reach my throat. I do not follow his advice. Why? Can’t say either. Smoke invades my lungs, hurts a bit, then goes flying out my mouth, fading away in the night air. My tongue slightly tickles. Feels good, relieving. I haven’t been feeling depressed or anything, but the act of smoking just seems appeasing, even meditative. What the hell am I talking about?

I get back home. I’m in the mood for a deep writing session. Doorbell rings. Must cancel plans: forgot we had guests over. My mom’s long-time friend’s staying home for a couple of nights with her daughter. It’s okay: I do like those two. The woman’s been like an aunt to me; I’ve known her for as long as I can recall. I enjoy her presence; she’s always diffusing comfortable warmth. Mom says it has something to do with the positive vibes surrounding her. Her constant, infectious laughter makes you forget every stupid thing you’ve been stressing over. What’s funny about her? Well, she’s convinced she’s funny, and even though her jokes sometimes aren’t, it’s still a hilarious sight to witness. I’m laughing so hard now I’m starting to feel pain in my jaw. I must go to sleep. Working tomorrow. I’m glad I saw them. I’m glad I was laughing not crying before I went to bed. I’m glad I was living not dying tonight. After all, death can wait, until it can’t.