the romance of cigarettes

je fume, je bois, je baise Рtriangle ̩quilat̩ral.
“i smoke, i drink, i fuck – equilateral triangle.”

– serge gainsbourg

while i am not currently a smoker, i did previously smoke for a few years, and have always been fascinated by the allure of cigarettes. today, i read design observer’s view on the modern assault upon cigarettes, which leaves me thinking about what is to come in a day where the smoker is increasingly becoming a pariah.

montreal is a city of smokers; one that, in the next calendar year, should receive similar smoking bans to those of toronto et al., where it would no longer be permitted indoors at all. this will cause an epic struggle among our smoking population the likes of which has never been seen before in the city. never mind what will happen to the cigar lounges, whose living depends upon that mystique.

but what is happening to the romance of cigarettes? people love seeing a classic movie star photo of a smoking rebel or artist (james dean, say), looking distantly into the horizon with a certain attractive apathy. what will make the movie stars look this good? how will the poets seem as tortured as they once were? i wish i was being sarcastic, because seriously, there’s a struggle here – how can i make myself look as good as i did when i was smoking, how can i give myself that certain allure, hm? i don’t want to die, but dammit, i would almost die to look that good, to be that tortured poet, that movie star, in my mind’s eye.

that look is dying. that blasé attitude, a romantic blend of fatalism and rebelliousness, and i don’t think there is a single item as powerful as the cigarette that will resurrect it.





One response to “the romance of cigarettes”

  1. Alexandra Avatar

    Nice timing on linking back to this – I was just last night imaginarily reaching for a cigarette and –

    [ I quit two years ago & still there are these MOMENTS where nothing en pointe has emerged that does me the same way. ]

    I have no idea what-all I looked like, but for me it was an act of cloaking off from the world for the length of the drag & exhale [from your point of view] that for me could last 15 minutes wandering inside my head. It gave me leave to be in slow-motion from the inside out. languid.

    For better or worse, I was probably talking at the same time.

    Haven’t located the replacement yet, I am beginning to think that it has to do with slowing things down so that there is the necessary time to actually see, feel connect – with ourselves and with each other.

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