It was around nine o’clock when I woke up, and I was out of cigarettes. Instead of lying around watching some phony soap opera, I grabbed my coat and scarf, and was out the door in about five minutes. Outside, it was dark and gloomy, and the goddam wind kept coming through my jacket. I had to wrap my scarf all around my face, and shove my hands deep into my pockets just to keep warm. I bet I looked like a goddam idiot, but I didn’t care.
I didn’t see nobody ‘till I got to the corner store, and it was just old Stanley behind the counter. He’s always there, every day, waiting ‘till someone comes to buy something. I threw a pack of cigarettes onto the counter, and as he was ringing them up and all, he started some phony conversation. Asked me how my day was going and all, but I could tell he didn’t really care. All of a sudden I told him I was on my way to my sister’s wedding reception, and made up this whole goddam lie. I don’t know why I did it.
Maybe I just wanted him to think I had somewhere to go. After I left, I wandered the streets for a while. I didn’t know where the hell I was going, I just didn’t want to go back to the hotel I was staying at. My room was so depressing, with its empty bed, empty drawers, and empty closet and all. So I walked around outside for a while, smoking a cigarette. As I walked through the park, I thought about how my mother used to tell me to go out and get some fresh air, about how it was good for the soul.
I never really understood how the air could be good for you, people are always saying how it’s filled with all those goddam toxins and stuff, but I always listened to her anyways. I spent the rest of the day just sitting on a bench in the park, and by the time it started to get dark, I had gone through almost the whole pack of cigarettes I had just bought. I know I should stop smoking, but I can never seem to do it. Maybe it’s because I’m secretly hoping that someday I’ll get lucky, and I’ll get lung cancer or something. Maybe then I’ll be put out of my misery.