Monday, August 08, 2005

The Cigarette Lady

She's everything you imagine her to be, The Cigarette Lady is. She smokes like a oil burning car. Black soot is exhaled from her muffler, her mouth and nose. She's slumped over and sits on the concrete wall in the parking garage, with the other air polluting carcasses, the cars.

She's there every morning and afternoon. I see her at 7:00 a.m. when I walk in at the start of my day. She doesn't see me. She's reading her latest novel. She reads one a day because I never see her with the same book. It's always different.

Sitting next to her is the bucket of sand where she snuffs out her cancer sticks. This morning there were 23 butts sticking up out of the sand like tombstones. She didn't notice me, even when I walk right by her. She's engrossed in the pages of her story.

When I go out to lunch I sometimes walk by the same spot, and again at 4:00, she's there. When does she work? I don't know. She comes, punches in, and smokes and reads, then goes. How sad, how boring.

The Cigarette Lady

If you must smoke, take your butt outside.  ~Author Unknown