Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kind of an ode to cigarettes

I’ve thought for years that if I get cancer and it’s clear that it will kill me, one of my first stops will be to pick up a pack of cigarettes. I’m thinking Marlboro lights since it’s been ~40 years since I had a cigarette – kind of ease into it, you know. What follows is taken from some writing on my time in the Vietnam War... 

At Con Thien (the Hill of Angels), near DMZ
Photo by D. Duncan
We had 4-pack C-Rat cigs – Lucky Strikes (“Toasted”), Salems, Winstons; and whenever someone went up to Hill 55 they’d bring back some cartons of Winstons or Marlboros or best of all, Viceroys. Cigarettes and war go together really well. Smoking cigarettes was about the best thing we did. That and being not dead.

Much of the countryside where we were was deserted. There were people living to the northeast of us and in the west where Dodge City was. Otherwise, deserted, ghostly. Once on patrol in the north we came across a partially intact temple - even part of the roof was still there. Sitting inside, dry, having a smoke, happy, comfortable. That’s a stellar memory. 

(On a three day patrol)
Waking one morning to sit smoking
Watching the day begin through misty green
Slow, soft, green and mist
I could sit here for a thousand years.


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