Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chain smoking

He took the cigarette pack from his shirt pocket and hit it against the heel of his hand until two or three cigarettes were higher than the rest. He pulled out the highest, then shook the pack so the other two descended again and put it back in his pocket. He took the butt of his last cigarette, burned almost to the filter, and put it in his mouth. He put the new cigarette tip to tip with the butt. He breathed in deeply. The coal of the dying cigarette flared and lit the new one. With a jerk he took butt from his mouth and snuffed it in the already too full ash tray. He brought the new one to his lips and inhaled deeply. His fingernails and the tips of his fingers were stained yellow.

A paragraph from my novel (at this point, only stray paragraphs exist.) An attempt to describe the chain smoking of a skitzophrenic acquaintance of mine. The attempt, as with the commuting pieces is to find a style that maps to reality.

1 comment:

  1. I have been enjoying your posts Steve. The description reminded me of a tail sawyer who worked a Diamond Int. The only thing he did differently was to pound the cigarette pack like a nervous twitch before he opened it. Those were the days, I always started my shift smelling like smoke. Thanks for the memories. ~Dean