GUYS THAT SMOKE • by Nancy Nguyen



Guys that smoke.

I like it when they put that death cylinder between their fingers and just… breathe.

I like guys who laugh in the faces of people who say, “Two out of three smokers die.” So one out of three are immortal?

I like guys with a weakness — guys that don’t mind being controlled by things they don’t need — guys that carry around a lighter and breath mints and hand-sanitizer because they’re compassionate in their own little way.

I like guys that aren’t afraid. I like guys that look as tough as they want to look, even though their love for a small roll of paper reflects their will-power more than an internal mirror. But then again, I like guys with as many contradictions as there are grains of sand.

I like guys that tried to quit for reasons. They tried to quit for their mothers, sisters, but not for their fathers. They tried to quit because they were broke. They tried to quit because society is like a nagging wife that threatens to divorce but will never really do it. They tried to quit for that one girl in their lives.

I like guys that smoke because I miss it. I miss the subtle scent in their clothes if I bury my face in far enough, like a blood-hound searching for nostalgia. I miss the beautiful apologies — apologies for liking smoking more than liking me.

I miss learning how to drive. And I miss when he used to roll down the window to pull out a pack of cigarettes, even though I hated it. I hated it because I was one of those broken human beings that loved too much.

I miss our arguments because I had someone to argue with. Most of all, I miss all those times I would try to hide his pack of Camels when I was a kid, but he’d magically have another in his back pocket.

I’m sorry I don’t love guys that smoke. I’m sorry that this, whatever it is, is a filthy, weird addiction. I’m sorry that I only burn them down to throw them away on the side of the road.

Just for a moment, I need a guy that smokes as much as he needs his cigarette. I need him to hug me, to let me bury my face in his clothes, to let me feel whole at least one.



Nancy Nguyen is a young writer looking for a place to start.

This story is sponsored by
Is Rah El?: Before time itself…. The People lived a simple life; there was no need to Think, and so there was no Thought. This was Paradise ~ “Is Rah El?” by Max Stockinger

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