Friday, April 10, 2020


My apartment mate would not be pleased. I am starting the day with a long Oliva Connecticut Cigar at my computer in the teevee room, with a stuffed turkey vulture in the other chair for company. He is pre-occupied with an egg. How do mother birds give birth to chocolate blobs?
Somehow, he feels, that must be wrong.

Are those things even edible?

Nah, I shall not mention the bunnies.
He's disturbed enough already.

The thing is, I am not supposed to be smoking inside. But she left nearly an hour ago to go to work (essential services), so with her door closed and the windows open, I can risk it. A cigar takes six hours to air out, a pipe four hours. So I'm okay till the afternoon, and if I cook myself a spicy curry for lunch she'll never know. Chilipaste, trassi, ginger, and spices.
Envelopes must be pushed for an Oliva cigar.
Four days ago it was Alec Bradley.
Two days ago, Placencia.

You cannot expect a man who grew up in a town known for cigar factories, smugglers, and talented criminals to be a good little weasel. Sometimes a cigar is more than just a cigar. It's a connection to a different world.

Admittedly one that reeks, and has stains all over it (like my bathrobe), as well as little deposits of ash, and a faint whiff of cow shit in the breeze, but it's a world with sunlight and forsythia, and at this time of year bulbs that come into bloom, as well as the first blossom buds on apple trees in back yards behind old brick buildings.

It is the time for strong coffee, and long jaunts into the fens south of town. Wildlife, and new growth. The hopefulness of gentle spring rain.

Maintaining one's sanity in this day and age requires the companionship of a turkey vulture, pipes or cigars, and coffee. Much as it ever was.
I pity people who lack those three great things.

Their reality is grim and terrifying.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

No comments:

Search This Blog


This post should have an appropriate food picture for an illustration, but doesn't. Please use your imagination. Having a bite to eat ma...