I had quit cigarettes for about a year, but that day I was struggling. My girlfriend had left me a few days ago and my friends decided that it was time for wings and beer. That’s how I ended up sweating over a bowl of wings and talking about how paying attention to your significant other is getting harder and harder every year. My friend Dave was waxing poetic about how the cell phone has ruined our lives because we no longer have human interactions. He told us all of this while hogging all the ranch and drinking more than his fair share of the beer.
I was a little fed up of Dave’s diatribe so I headed outside to get some fresh air and cool off. Then I smelled cigarette smoke. It smelled like a life unburdened by the expectations of my ex-girlfriend and her incessant nagging about our health. The smoke smelled of my life before kale smoothies, quinoa, and beats. I hate beats.
I looked up the street and there you were. Holding a half smoked cigarette in your hand while you were looking around with disinterest. You were wearing skinny jeans, a cardigan, and you had a tattoo of a hummingbird on the side of your neck. I asked to bum a cigarette and you just handed over your pack of American Spirits.
When I lit up and took that first drag something woke up inside of me. I felt ready for anything. I handed back the pack of cigarettes and we started talking. Within a few minutes we were upstairs, out of breath, and covered in sweat. You were a regular smoker and you still beat me in Dance Dance Revolution.
Then my friends called me asking where I was and I went back downstairs to help pay the bill. I came back upstairs and knocked on your door.
An old man in his boxers answered and told me no girls lived in the building. He owned it.
Were you a figment of my imagination? Dance Dance Revolution high scores don’t come that easily. I still had the feel of cigarette smoke in my mouth the next morning too. Maybe I had the wrong building. If you are reading this please let me know why you thought gingham was a superior pattern than tartan.
This is a missed connection style genre piece. If you think it’s cool write some of your own. Tag me. Used Missed Connections as a tag.