It starts each day at 5, right after I get out of my last class. My days are always far from over, always more tests to study for, or papers to write, or co-sponsorships to fill out. Still, that first breath of relief quickly turns into loneliness. I always walk a lap around the quad, desperate for someone to share a moment with, because I am alone. I want to walk this lap with a cigarette.
Maybe it's the cold, the way I see my breath in the air. Last year, I craved cigars the day that first chill came along. Or maybe it's the way I've always connected around stacks of smoke, around campfires or waterpipes. (I resurrected an old lighter from highschool this afternoon, there are three stickers on it: a green, a brown, and a pink; three letters spelling out the word "pot", reminders of a better time.) Maybe I am just hoping someone will stop by and ask me for a cigarette, I'd give them one, and I'd hope for a quick exchange of words, maybe we'd exchange names, maybe we'd exchange feelings, maybe we'd become friends.
Maybe it's because I've been thinking about drugs recently. I wish I could still smoke weed like I used to. I want to escape. I want to spend a Saturday on acid lying alone on the grass, and maybe I wouldn't feel so alone. I didn't get drunk this Halloween. I tried, but I had no one to spend Saturday night with. Maybe I just want an addiction, maybe it would be something to hold on to. I know it won't help. I still feel lonely when I am surrounded by stacks of philosophy and poetry, it doesn't help when I finish a paper four days ahead of time, I just want a friend.
It's been so long since I bought a pack that I forgot what kind of cigarettes I smoke. I stumbled over my words. I took out my ID so far ahead of time, I must have looked like an 18-year old buying my second or third pack ever. This pack will last me a week or two, depending on how many I give away. At the end of those weeks, I'll no longer be a smoker; but, at the end of those weeks, I'll still be lonely.