Why? For several reasons. Allow me to share those with you now.
There is more to smoking something than just the draw of smoke into your lungs. There is a vibe about it. An aura of calmness that it creates. There is a whole little world that is created when you light your smokes.
It starts with preparing the pack. Some people pack their smokes by banging on the end of the carton...I've never been a fan of this. But with what I enjoy smoking (see below) there's no need for this. The cloves and tobacco are already firmly in place.
So you lift the 'lid' of the pack and see your 12 or 24 little friends waiting for you. The filters are like little hands waving up and down hoping that you'll pick them. Then you pick one. Some people carefully dig into the pack to preserve the sanctity of the cigarette. I like to dig my nail into the filter and yank it out.
This is where it starts to get really good. Lighter in hand, you are ready to head to the first drag. You flick the bic and it makes that wonderful noise. I don't have the right combination of letters to relay that sound but I think you can hear it on your own. The ridged wheels of the lighter slide by each other so fast with the slip of your thumb and than shazam! You've got fire.
Now it's time for that first drag. Lighter to the end of your smoke, you inhale and puff as the clove, tobacco, additives or whatever start to turn red and sparkle. The first puff's exhale runs over the end of the cigarette and around your thumb on the lighter. Success.
Next you're ready to enjoy what you really came here for. The flavor, the relax, the drag, the smell (if you've got something good). The flavor depends on your brand of choice. For me (again, see below) that means the sweet, smooth taste of cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. At this point, everything you know about what smoking does to you that's not good flies out the door like a quick exhale.
No, at this point you don't care about the warning label. You care about the feeling of the swarm of gray filling up your insides with tasty goodness. You continue to take your drags and feel the relaxing calm of the process. Again, you ignore any evidence that smoking makes you jittery. It's the process that cools you down.
And then there's the smell. If you've got the right stuff (uhm, see below) you get a wonderful smell with your smoke. It drifts around your noise as you let it softly fly out of your mouth. You inhale a second time, this time for the smell, not the taste.
After awhile you've reached the end of your time with your smokes. For me this happens before I reach the end of the clove. About 2/3rds of the way down, I'm content and ready to extinguish. I take a few last puffs to say goodnight (this usually happens at night) and then squish the remains into a firesafe receptacle. Well, sometimes you try plastic because you like to watch things burn, but that's a segue into another post. And of course there's also the choo-choo train you can make with the plastic cover of your pack. If you don't know how to do that, email me and I'll fill you in.
I should make the disclaimer that I can only handle 3-4 cloves a week. It's just all I got. I don't think it makes me less of a man. Or woman.
For another story on another day, I also like things that smoke on their own. Incense is a nice example. I can't explain what it is but it makes me happy. And for now that will suffice.
So what do I prefer to smoke?