Week 9 – Cigarette Smoke in the Car

Factory Outlet in Vienna by Cecelia Wyatt

Up in Smoke Elizabeth Kate Switaj

The car had always been the one place he could smoke, at least as far as Jenna knew. She knew when he got up in the middle of the night that he was going to sit in their little yellow Subaru with a pack of American Spirits, even if he did come back with fake blood trickling down his cheek. At least, she hoped it was fake.

She had never told him she knew. His elaborate plot to make her think he’d become a vampire was too amusing: the ever-darker glasses, the refusal to eat at Italian restaurants because garlic upset him—eventually he even stopped going outside during the day and had thick drapes installed in his home office.

And she was grateful now that she had allowed him that one haven in which to smoke. It meant she could slip outside when the insomnia got to her, curl up in the driver’s seat, and smell his last remaining trace.

She was grateful, too, that in the note he left before hanging himself in that darkened office, he had asked to be cremated. It gave her something to argue about with his very old-school Catholic mother. A welcome distraction from grief.

Besides, there was something nice about having him in a box in the glove compartment. Smoke and ashes in the little car they had driven from California to Juneau. That would have to be enough from now on.

Barbara by Marcus Speh

This is my last cigarette, said the serious writer more to himself than to anyone else: he’d pulled the shutters down, switched off the phone and sat in front of an empty desk inhaling. This doesn’t have to be your last one, said the cigarette, and the writer was surprised at the sexy voice. He felt like giving it a strong name, like Barbara. I think you’re panicking, he said to her. She sighed, blowing smoke, tickling his throat with memories of the many moments when smoking had given him unearthly pleasures. There’s nobody like me, Barbara hummed, nobody so forgiving and so attentive to your deepest, darkest needs. The serious writer nodded, conscious of his loss, and crushed her on the last breath.

Drive, you sd, for christ’s sake by Ryder Collins

This weekend was supposed to be about intellect and soul-mating, but, like all others, it’s turned into body and longing. You sit in my passenger seat, and I let you smoke in my wee car with the windows rolled down.

We’ve come from a wedding, a fairy ring, a carnival, an executioning, anything that’s spectacle, and you sat beside me that whole time and we sweated together and you made sure your leg grazed mine but only every now and then.

I would’ve had sex with you every time I felt your leg against mine.

You say you were imagining me giving you head at the altar, on a mushroom, a ferris wheel, the electric chair.

I would have done you but I started thinking about love and hate, about the hair on my toes, my 70s bush, my weak teeth, my ability to fall for the right cock and the wrong guy. You could be a hipster; you attach yourself to the right people and feed feed feed. Everyone wants to introduce you to others.

I want to introduce you to the priest, the barker, the Faerie Queen, the executioner. I want to show you god, show you magic, con and kill you.

Or maybe, I want to lock you in my car and just drive.

Victor has a Night out by Martin Brick

This is the scent of smoke lingering in the car,
which came from the cigarette,
held in the long elegant fingers of the redhead,
who would not have gotten into a 97 Civic,
but would get into a new BMW z4,
which is exactly why Victor took the BMW,
though his father was out of town on business and hid the keys.

This is the scent of smoke that was easily detected,
because the car smelled of air-freshener,
which Victor simply took from the bathroom and sprayed the shit out of the interior,
to hide the fact that an elegant redhead lit a cigarette in his father’s car,
which he was using on the sly.

A simpler scenario would be that Victor himself was smoking,
which he might try,
or one of his knuckle-headed friends might try,
but certainly not in the BMW,
because he would be too afraid,
and so it must have been something so amazing,
which could override all mechanisms of fear,
which would offer rewards possibly justifying any punishment.

And Victor’s father remembered the scent of cigarette smoke,
and remembered the redheaded girls at the bars of his youth,
who would never get into his Plymouth Volare,
because there were boys with Chargers and Mustangs,
and if Victor had a chance to be one of those boys for a night,
to feel that rush,
who was he to deny it.

Back to Wk #8 – Corrected Vision

Forward to Wk #10 – Union of Opposites


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