out of cigarettes

Ask most people why they smoke and they'll shrug. Or maybe they'll have an answer, I don't know. Me, I think I do it for that sense of community, that sense of 'we're in this together.' Drinking is a merit-based culture. You never ask someone "hey, can I bum a drink off you?" People offer. It's on them.

I was at work tonight and had left my cigarettes at home. My coworker smokes but intermittently enough she doesn't smoke at work unless we're taking a break together, in which case I let her pilfer one of mine. Pilfer. That's a word I heard someone use once to explain why he didn't like smokers. We pilfer from each other. Like that's a bad thing.

It had been a particularly stressful evening. I needed a cigarette. I had none. My coworker was going on break anyway--"Do you want me to go to the store?" "Sure." "You smoke Camels, right?" "Camel Lights, yeah," but at this point I wasn't too worried about it. The point is she was there. She understood. She was willing to help me out. And it had nothing to do with who she was or who I was--we just had that one thing in common. We're part of a community.

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