I knew it when people from a distance walked towards me; I knew they were going to berate me for allegedly being disturbed by my cigarette whiff, even in an open air, an open space as big as a football stadium. But they have to complain, it makes them feel good, it is their hobby. They never miss an opportunity to lecture smokers about the evils of smoking; in fact, they are so annoying their lectures makes one smoke even more.
Incidentally, there is someone I spurned for many years because he wouldn’t stop his monotonous lectures—he somehow appears in front of me seconds after I light up. Then he throws his hands in the air, just like a disappointed parent, wondering why I was still smoking, and exclaim: “Hjji kha’a shigara, still smoking!” I can’t remember how many times he did that to me. I seriously wondered whether annoying me was on top of his...
... middle of paper ...
...here now—except in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Please do befriend smokers in coffee shops, middle easterners, Africans, and Asians, specially Chinese who would make you feel ashamed when you discover you don’t smoke half what they smoke, though you thought you were a heavy smoker. Light up every time you hear a sad, outrageous news from home. Light up whenever you remember you cannot visit your home because a brute is ruling the country. Light up whenever you remember a loved one who is jailed or disappeared. Light up whenever a young person is forced to leave his country. Light up whenever you remember Isaias, the monstrous, the cruelest, the meanest, the most brutal person who ever breathed the Eritrean air. And you think you can quit smoking? I guess you are enjoying all of that, why should you give up smoking? Why would you Untie “The Knot In Your Life*”?
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