It follows me daily, as I walk the streets, as I ride the bus. Like a plague of locusts, searching for its next meal. I am Job in the world of cigarettes. Oh, woe is me. The smoke seeks me out. It blows only in my direction. I move. The smoke moves with me.
Bloody nose, headache, scratchy throat, a sense of an internal chemical reaction on the border of psychosis, are my only indications that this almost invisible demon is near.
I continually turn away from the smoke, from its disgusting stench. I twirl in circles. I run from it. I cover my nose and mouth. I cough. I swat at the empty air as if I could make it drift away into another direction. I wave my hand as if I could manifest sweetness instead. My eyes water. My nose bleeds. No one cares. But the smoke continues to follow me wherever I go.
People huddle in the doorways as I pass, killing themselves, and me, with their smoke, their small white sticks of cancer. They discuss the politics of the day while smoke curls out of their mouths, laughing, flicking ashes onto the sidewalk.
A slow social suicide.
A living death.