I Exorcise A Longing By Writing About Someone Else Doing It

Drawing breath, scanning the horizon, Sofie, reaches for her tobacco. At times like this she loves nothing better than the ritual of rolling a cigarette.

Sofie tears a paper out of its packet and places it in her left hand. She rummages in the bottom of the tobacco pouch for a filter, placing it in the corner of her mouth, hand then back in the pouch to metre out the tobacco, fingers testing the amount, separating it from the bulk and placing it on the paper.

She holds the paper with both hands, between thumb and middle finger, index fingers smoothing the tobacco along the paper with the occasional test roll to get it all even. Then the filter is placed in and the final roll committed to, a little tuck of the corners, her thumbs starting, tips pressed together, and the roll taking them out to the edges, the gum strip left, waiting for the lick that will seal the creation. Her tongue traces along the gum and the index fingers press it all into place.

Roll completed, the cigarette hangs from the right side of Sofie’s mouth, she tightens her lips to make sure of the seal and raises her lighter to ignite the tip. Drawing on the filter, the tip glows, a waft of smoke escapes and the first drawing in of breath takes the smoke down into her lungs and she exhales with satisfaction. Ritual completed, Sofie resumed her watch, searching for the headlights that would tell her that they were on their way home to her.

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