Smoking CAN be Hazardous to Your Health

So I have the day off, and I’m starting it the way most normal Americans do, brewing up a triple espresso of Celebes Kalossi and sitting on the covered back porch, sighing at my snow-buried garden while smoking a briar packed with Rich’s Cigar’s Midnight Express…while listening to Jimi Hendrix play “Machine Gun” (a live cut off the Band of Gypsies album). Foot gently tapping. Watching huge, fluffy snowflakes fall in psychedleic swirls. Another morning at the fun factory, just like at your house.

When I get this…impulse. A nagging instinct. “Look up,” it says. Look up? Hendrix is wailing out, doing call and response machine gun blasts between his guitar and the drummer. But the feeling’s growing and impossible to ignore. So I look up.

And directly–directly–over my skull hangs an inch-thick, three-foot icicle with a wicked sharp point, that has dripped down through a small bend in the patio rool metal.

So, uh…casually, I put the pipe down, turn off the music, rise, and grab the nearest metal implement at hand–in this case a sprinkler head–and give the icicle a gentle tap. Instantly, it drops, shattering. Right where I was sitting.

This gives one pause, surely: mostly, given that we’re into our sixth or seventh day of snow and ice, how long had it been hanging there? But I sweep away the shards, sit down again, relight the pipe, and find a weird smile smile crawling up my face.

No one interrupts the Jimi.

S

About Steve Patterson

Steve Patterson has written over 50 plays, with works staged in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Tampa, and other U.S. cities as well as in Canada and New Zealand. His works include: Waiting on Sean Flynn, Next of Kin, Farmhouse, Malaria, Shelter, Altered States of America, The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Grandamnus, Bluer Than Midnight, Bombardment, Dead of Winter, and Delusion of Darkness. In 2006, his bittersweet Lost Wavelengths was a mainstage selection at Portland Center Stage's JAW/West festival, and, in 2008, won the Oregon Book Award (he also was an OBA finalist in 1992 and 2002). In 1997, he won the inaugural Portland Civic Theatre Guild Fellowship for his play Turquoise and Obsidian. View all posts by Steve Patterson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: