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8.29.2011

the illicit cigar








palma.

that was the name of the cigar he got from the bodega on 84th.

he didn't like the looks of it. didn't like the green wrapper it came in. didn't trust the easy packaging. but the man behind the counter had become impatient, weary of his blond, curly hair--his earnest face. so he got it. rather than deal with the man's ire, he looked up, shrugged, said, fine, okay. 

palma.

i stood off to the side, watching. he threw a smile my way and i took it. turned on my foot and walked outside into one of those crisp nights marking summer's end.  i liked that blonde hair. liked the way the curls cut across his face anytime he looked down.

and i didn't mind the wrapper... i just liked saying the name: palma. liked how the l into the m felt in my mouth.


palllmmmma.

he got the cigar and i got the ice cream (pistachio nut) and into central park we went. found a sloping hill, set off from the path. and perched on my knees i watched as he lit the thing, the palma.

i feel like i'm fifteen, i said. a slow smile. a soft laugh, a long, deep breath of smoke.

i'm not sure what prompted it. i must have told him about my only act of teenage rebellion--smoking cigars with the boys on the elementary school soccer field. night painting morning, that final year of high school--all of us knowing we'd be going soon. leaving. that those nights would be among our last.

perhaps that was the connection. that after so many years in new york he was leaving. and so a cigar it was: an ode to youth and a calculated impromptu of a goodbye.

just after meeting, a goodbye.

funny how timing works that way. how it is elastic and ever-moving and mostly ill-advised.

one final night: a prelude to nothing. a demand of the present--that we be there--right there, in that moment. two figures on a grassy hill, one cigar (one illicit palma), backs pressed into the grass--into each other, drinking in those few stars the manhattan skyline will allow.

no expectations, no plans, a single cigar and the promise of very little sleep.

19 comments:

Allie said...

Beautiful, as usual

debbiecutieface said...

I just really love your writing.

s a m said...

one of your best meg. The imagery (and the meaning behind it) is so vibrant.

communikate. said...

you paint a picture beautifully with words, my dear.

becky said...

I don't know what it is about your blog that makes me do this but, somehow, I always end up re-quoting you, back to yourself. I suppose I like showing people their talent; like reflecting it back into their eyes and their minds in the hope that it was revere confidence or bestow some kind of faith in. I'm going to do it again (and probably, if you continue to write, continue to paint these moments for us, again and again and again)...

"one final night: a prelude to nothing. a demand of the present--that we be there--right there, in that moment. two figures on a grassy hill, one cigar (one illicit palma), backs pressed into the grass--into each other, drinking in those few stars the manhattan skyline will allow.

no expectations, no plans, a single cigar and the promise of very little sleep."

That, right there, is wonderful. Keep it--hold it--treasure it like the moment it pertains to?

Laura Marie said...

This, my dear friend, is a prose poem. Stunning. (And, like Sam said: One of your very best.)

Kristyn Ellen said...

Such a pretty snapshot.

Brittan said...

what delicious writing, i didn't want it to stop.

BuoyantlyBlithe said...

Your writing = my favorite.

Taylor said...

The details you put into everything makes us feel like we are living this moment in time all over again with you and it's a gorgeous moment at that.

Alissa said...

Damn girl, you're good!

P. said...

Reading this makes me both nostalgic for my wayward twenties and also relieved that I never have to live through them again. The twenties are amazing to live through and even better to get free from....

I am REALLY REALLY curious to see what you'll be writing on this blog at age 30+......... keep writing!

meg fee said...

@ P.--there's this great line in one of the songs by the mountain goats: it's good to be young, but let's not kid ourselves it's better to pass on through those years and pass out the other side, with our hearts still beating, having stared down demons, come back breathing.

i can't wait till i'm 30+ as well. i've definitely stared down a lot of demons, but because i spent so much time with a specific few, i've still got a lot of growing up to do in different ways so i'm working on it, ya know.

i'm trying to love what my life is right now. doesn't mean i don't very much look forward to this stage passing!

(and thanks for phrasing your comment in a positive way!).

Jasmine said...

Beautiful!

wildchild said...

you've done it again. also, bummer that he left.

ALFIE said...

can a post be perfect?

i think this may have just proved it can.

it captures youth. and that knowing glance stolen between two people who know that-- even though all things come to an inevitable end-- we live them out anyway. just for the joy of it in the moment.

just because it feels oh-so-good.

forward [e]motion said...

meg, you just blow me away.

bel.

Leighana said...

You should really narrate books.
I love this story.

The Cupcaketologist said...

gorgeous. just, gorgeous.