photosite.jpg

Writing

February 2009

Cigarettes and Rock shows with Dad.

I got off the train and didn't see my dad, so I called him. He was on the other side of the tracks. Logically, I should've known that; I think I was too distracted by the previous events of my day and the great concern I had for lighting my cigarette. I had to walk under the tracks through a tunnel (non-smoking) as the just-rolled cigarette travelled with my lips, unlit. I walked out, glanced up at my dad leaning against his car, lit my cigarette, and walked though the briefcase-holding crowd toward him. Looking through all the briefcases in the fairly empty lot displayed a sign of the times to me. It was about ten to nine and these people were coming home from work. I remembered that when I would take the train home to work a few years ago at about 6 - the work force had already caught the 5:20 and my 6 train was fairly empty. Now, they're coming home in the dark and looking understandably tired of so many things. The mass group of suits walked with slouched postures to their awaiting rides, and I felt awake in comparison for the first time in awhile. I went to exhale my first drag of my long-awaited cigarette, but the time of the trip between train, tunnel, lot, and car had adhered my lips to the cigarette. Of course this had happened before, but not nearly as unexpected. I glanced down at my burning cigarette and realized that my lip had dyed it dark red on the un-lit end. I considered not smoking it because I'd never expected to have to choose to or not to smoke a bloody cigarette. I decided that it was fine, hugged my dad hello and got in the car. 

After a few minutes of driving, my dad pulled into a gas station with 3/4 of a gas tank and I realized he was getting a pack of cigarettes. I was going to tell him to "quit buying those things," but didn't when I looked down and saw the one that was bloody and I was still smoking it. We chatted about our weeks and took turns playing new music we'd been listening to for each other. We got to the "House" in Dekalb at 9:30, it took us 35 minutes to get there. Luckily the show had been running as late as we were. 

2009, ChicagoMatt Austin