Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Roadside Fire

Steaming cup warming my hands and the heavenly scent of french vanilla and coffee flooding my nostrils, I drove in the darkness and marveled at the emptiness of the highway at such an early hour. “Just 2 more hours and we can stop” I repeatedly told myself. “I can stay awake for 2 more hours”.

Hubby snoozed next to me and the kids were sound asleep in the back. The silence of the car and the highway made my mind race wildly. The scent of the coffee brought me back in time, to my college years, and suddenly all I could think about was smoking a cigarette.

Did you have to read that again?

Yes, a cigarette. I was craving one. Quite badly.

It’s odd, because if you know me in real life you know I don’t smoke. And aside from a semester or two in college, I never touched the things.

So yeah, I smoked for a bit in college. It was really a social thing; brought on by a smoking roommate and a desperate desire to “fit in” somewhere. I would carry a pack in my back pocket at frat parties – it was a great way to get guys to talk to me.

Ugh. That is so sad.

But I never really smoked regularly. My dad smoked 3 packs a day for years and years and up and quit one day when I was about 8 I guess. I had always thought smoking was a disgusting, dirty habit, but in the year in college that I smoked every now and then I found it to be quite relaxing and enjoyable. Thankfully I am not an addictive personality, so a habit never formed and as soon as the roommate and the frat parties went away I quit.

But for some reason in that lonely, quiet moment on the big, open freeway, my coffee had me thinking of a cigarette.

Perhaps I was longing for something different; it maybe wasn’t so much the feel of the warm smoke in my lungs that I wanted, but the feelings of youth and freedom. And being on the open road so late in such isolation and quiet turned my focus to something that reminded me of my younger self.

I haven’t felt that way in a long time.

D :)


Julia said...

The vision of you in your former pre-kids life with a cigarette for some reason evokes French film noire imagery for me. :-) I'm not really sure why.

Vick said...

I was a smoker in my past life, and road trips always ignite that craving for me ...

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