Didn't I always let you have one of my cigarettes?

by Stephanie Austin

I smoked cigarettes in between brushing my teeth because I didn't want to give in to one side or the other. I liked the taste in my mouth, mint and cigarettes and fresh and filthy.

The restaurant was closed, or maybe it was condemned, so he took me somewhere else. We sat in the smoking section.

The thing he said to me that night was about the journey of life and the paths different people are on and his path was going way, way over there. I looked where he was pointing, and it got the waiter's attention too.

The sandwich was messy. And isn't sandwich one of those words that's easy to hate? I want to spell it like this: sandwhich. Sand which? Which sand? That sand. I catch myself on time, most of the time. I remove the h.

In the park, later, the slides were bright and colorful and we didn't slide through them because we were too big. He told me that he takes care of his body. He enjoyed excess once per week. I lit a cigarette, and he asked if he could have one.