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Well, I finally gave in. A few nights ago I went and bought a pack of Camel Turkish Silver cigarettes and a lighter. I had to see what all the hubbub was about. It's a little odd that I'm nearly 24 years old and just now experiencing smoking, but I digress...

I've had the urge to try it for a while now. Maybe it's because I grew up in a home with two smokers or the fact that I have a bit of a smoking fetish (I know, odd for a girl). I've had urges before that I imagine are so severe they're like the urges smokers get. I first started getting these urges when I was 16 or 17, eschewing high school for college (and having it paid for by the school district, woohoo).

I finally acted on my urges a few years ago. I cautiously walked up to the local 7-11 and bought a pack of Marlboro Lights and a lighter. I was 21, had just experienced drinking for the first time, and was excited to be bad. I put the cigarette in my mouth, lit it... and nothing. I couldn't make it work. I gave up and threw everything away.

Last night I tried my new Camels for the first time. The experience of having the smoke swirl around me was magical. I felt like I was in the middle of something bigger than myself, something tightly united with the fabric of the universe. Like the stress and problems I've had were drifting off into nowhere, towards the stars. I'm not entirely sure I actually inhaled any smoke, but it looked pretty nifty. But, I got spooked. Someone was coming by my apartment with some strollers and kids and I thought it might be my apartment manager. My complex isn't smoke-free (we're allowed to smoke outside) but I told them I didn't smoke. Yeah, I've been told I'm a little paranoid. I put my cigarette out (less than half smoked) and took a bath. And then I felt nauseous. But, I chalk that up to not feeling well in general and not smoking.

Tonight I decided to give it another go. I know I actually inhaled smoke because I could see it as I blew it out. It was just as magical as last night... the blue-silver smoke I was making happen, the relaxation I was sucking into my body and the stress I was blowing out... it was wonderful. Just wonderful. Tonight I probably smoked about 2/3 of a cigarette. I feel pretty good about that. By the way, it didn’t taste weird. It didn’t make me feel sick. And it didn’t make me feel weak or euphoric or any of that. Again, I probably didn’t inhale enough smoke.

So why would I ever decide to do something like this to my body? I was one of the most anti-smoking people you've ever met. I was one of the approximately 66% of voters who passed one of the strictest anti-smoking laws in the country. No smoking within 25 feet of any window or doorway. That puts most smokers out in the middle of the street. Bars and restaurants didn't get off scot-free either: with very few exceptions, smoking is banned there, too. I went so far to "remind" people on the street of the law when I saw someone light up, often to dirty looks.

Another thing I can't entirely explain: Why am I trying smoking with my family history? When I visit my dad he's chain-smoking and hacking because of it. My mom died from heart disease and probably some respiratory problem. Probably bought on by smoking.

But nevertheless, I get the urges. I figure it couldn't have been a physical addiction because it's been years since I've been around that much smoke. I've recently decided to question my religion and I've decided to study Wicca and all the metaphysical stuff that goes along with that. I read that there's a tobacco spirit that sometimes visits people and invites them to partake. Maybe I've been touched by a spirit. Maybe I'm just touched.

So, I guess I'm an experimental smoker now. Such an odd thing to hear coming from my lips. I'm (sort of) a smoker. Maybe tomorrow night I'll smoke an entire cigarette. Maybe tomorrow night I’ll feel some of the effects of it. But, until then, my cigarettes and lighter hide in the back of my closet, away from any of my anti-smoking friends that might get a little nosy.

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