DescriptionI'm not a smoker. In the smoking lounge of the coffee shop I'm at you can hear people's conversations like you can't hear your own thoughts.
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I'm not a smoker. In the smoking lounge of the coffee shop I'm at you can hear people's conversations like you can't hear your own thoughts. In the smoker's lounge theres no music playing. A thick glass seperates it from the outside and a light like one of those stage lights that read ON AIR indicates that the air-con is working. If it went out we all die of carbon monoxide poisoning. I'm not a smoker but if that light went out I'd be dead within twenty minutes.Â They see me writing stuff down on my phone. Suddenly everyone's quiet as if someone turned on the stage light. Like they're all waiting for the show to start. Nothing is about to start yet they're all of a sudden painfully aware of their own voices. I'm not a smoker but this is the only place where I can really write.Â Then a kid in a small pink dress storms in and the mother rushes her to quickly tell her what's it about. Just as soon she's whispered something into her momma's ear she's running back to the other side of the glass partition. I'm not a smoker and I'm not a writer yet I smoke and I try to write. You gotta start from somewhere with everything you do in life. You gotta be exposed, public. You've got to drop all the self-conscious shite roll up your sleeves and write and smoke and live and hang around the living. And I tend to think the best people alive are those who smoke in tiny quiet rooms in the mall where you can't hear your own thoughts because of everyone elses thoughts banging against the walls. Then you can forget about everything and listen to the white noise of the conversations and just be.Â In front of the coffee shop the double doors leading towards the inner guts of the mall look exactly like what you'd expect from a stage, large chromed handles on each side lock automatically like those luggage cars at the airport. They're all quiet now waiting for the show. Whispering, some talk in foreign languages. And then suddenly the stage is empty. The show's over before it had started its unintended authenticity, an authenticity of life itself disturbed, frightened by me, my jotting down what isn't my own thoughts like some kind of univerasal voice recorder of the universe itself. I'm not myself these days, Â and here in the silence I'm almost nothing at all. I'm not a smoker and there's hardly anything left for me to call myself. It might be too late for me, too much too fast. The air-con is still working but suddenly I'm all alone behind the thick sound-proof glass, and even if that air-con stopped working, and I'm not a smoker, so at this rate it'd take decades for me to die. And most likely it's not going to be from carbon monoxide poisoning or cancer or some other smoke related disease. I might be too late, born too long after the last smokers died away. People who call themselves smokers these days live for ages. Â I'm all alone and I'm not dieing anytime soon. I light my last cigarette before I leave, my fourth for the past twenty minutes. I'm not a smoker and I'm going to live. I'm not a writer, but I'm going to try living. What I call myself, right now, black, white, male or female, tall, short, straight, gay, blond auburn or ginger, is irrelevant.