A Cold Night
It was a cold night, not the type of night where you'd be comfortable in a snowsuit, but one where you'd want more than a sweatshirt. I sat on a balcony with my stiff denim and rolled-up-by-the-cuffs button-up. It had been twelve months since I took a drag, nine, but everyone thought I stopped when we were trying about a year ago. I Should have gotten a chip; instead, I got a ring back.
It was a cold night, the type of night where you don't step out to have a smoke, but you light up to stay warm. It was supposed to be a great day. There were great days in the past, but they all ended too soon. Once on purpose many years ago. Three in the last fourteen months.
It was a cold day, filled with family, mostly old, but a few new faces I'd meant to meet for almost a year. I honestly stopped smoking when I heard they were coming. They had been kicking around recently, and we had all gathered to meet them. It was supposed to be a standard, expected delivery. On a warm day, they would have hoped out, we all meet them, hand them out for a while with the people around us, and then take them home after we are all tired. And remain tired for a long time after that.
But it was a cold night. It felt more brutal than anything I had ever felt before. My wife had agreed to bring them into our life; it was a tough job, but she wanted to, and I wanted them to be here. A few minutes ago, I learned they can't make it anymore, none of them. They've headed somewhere a lot nicer, though. Much nicer.
For those of us waiting, it was a cold night, a night where it was close enough to reach the grounds but far enough to hesitate. It was a cold night; after this, I'll be heading somewhere a hell of a lot warmer.