Menthol Smooth

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Sometimes warnings go unseen, and sometimes they are ignored..

Submitted: February 13, 2012

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Submitted: February 13, 2012



He packed menthol cigarettes as I stood there staring at him. He was listening to some young mother strung out on meth, or maybe it was crack, as she tried to offer herself to him. Her flesh was no longer tight against her figure in the way I imagined it had been. Those last few pounds of baby weight had been lost long ago, but the excess skin still kept her company. She was sickly thin, with her bones appearing through the sagging skin as if it they had shown up late to some party just so every eye would fall upon them. "Look at me! Look at me”, they seemed to scream. Hungry, for nourishment she wasn't giving her body, they fed on the attention instead.

He looked up from his diligent work and straight at me. Instead of looking away after several moments, his green eyes never pulled away from mine. I couldn't quite read the expression on his face but I found myself imagining curiosity written there. The woman seemed not to notice his new mental direction, continuing to beg for just one more hit as tears cascaded down her bruised and blushing cheeks. And so when he pushed away from the Shelter's brick wall to walk towards me, a defeated user crumbled in on herself. There would be no deal, not with this supplier, and she now had to rack her worn mind into remembering another.


"What's your addiction?" He wasted no time working me over with those delicious emerald eyes. A smile that few could resist, and hands that none would want too. He leaned against the picnic table, his hips at eye level from where I sat. Pulling the cellophane from the cardboard box as he spoke, and carelessly ripping the foil from his treasure, he looked away from me to place the cylinder between a pair of soft, pale lips. He was as smooth as the flavor filling his lungs after that first draw. He read my hesitation, as I merely sat there drinking him all in. Gods have been worshiped who never bore half his harsh, abrasive beauty, and I was only one shaky breath from dropping before him chanting, 'I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy'. 

The smirk that transformed his face was something that no poet could describe, no artist could replicate, and no man could perfect. I was hooked, and he knew it. More than his appearance or that world shattering grin, his confidence in that ability to read me was what pushed me over the edge, without even knowing it.  He tapped the box against his palm, just once, and extended it in my direction not a single word uttered.

I found that my arm would move on its own accord in that moment. It had always simply obeyed my commands, and seemed happy in that job. However, today it seemed to attempt over-achievement and betrayed me. That is how I ended up with his cigarette between my own trembling lips. The spark before my grey eyes came from more than just the clichéd Zippo he used to encourage a need I had never felt before. The stars brightened, however, when I inhaled my first taste of addiction. My head swam, and I felt the rush of chemicals I had never experienced explode through me. Of course, then I took my first hit off the cigarette he had lit for me, and I coughed until I was certain I could taste blood in my mouth. Blood and menthol, an intoxicating cocktail I had never swallowed down before.

"Don't you ever shut-up?", he mused as he slid onto the bench across from me. The silver lighter cartwheeling between two of his pinched fingers glittered in the sun but it would not steal my attention. The laughter in his voice as he spoke was musical, and I felt the harshness of waking when I realized I had not said a single word. However, I found I had no idea what to say. Thank him for the lit cigarette that I had no desire to finish, though I would because it seemed rude not too? Introduce myself, as if my name was really all that important enough to matter to him? Hadn't he asked me something.... And, my mind searched for a time before that gorgeous grin had masked his face and I had first heard his voice.



"Yo no speako el Spanish-o", his palms came to rest flat against the picnic table as he began to push himself up to leave. There was no since in playing his games with someone who wouldn't understand half the rules.

"You asked my addiction. Casablanca. I cry every time..."

 I had now managed to cough less with each hit of the cigarette and was now enjoying the sensation of stubbing it out against the table top. Did I have that cool-kid aura when my eyes looked nonchalantly away from him to drink in the actions of that same betraying hand? Did I seem less mesmerized and more composed? I doubted it, but attempted not to let that judgment be painted upon my face.

He grinned as he sat back down; looking at me as if I was some exotic creature he had never seen. Reaching across the table, he tucked a loose lock of my auburn hair behind my ear, his fingertips shooting jolts of electricity through my body as they brushed my flesh. "Then I should have no problem...”

My brow fell inward, and I must have seemed confused because he went to explain after returning to his own side.

"Replacing an addiction that makes you cry."


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