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         “Smoking Cigarettes”
She sits in her car,
Smoking cigarettes,
In the High School,
Parking lot,
Listening to CD-mixes,
She had made,
3-years ago,
The summer of,
Her freshmen year.
She had found them,
Quite by accident,
The passenger seat,
When she had dropped,
Her lighter,
And it came,
To rest,
On top of,
The sleeve,
Containing these 5-discs.
Her and Kari,
Had made them,
That one summer night,
When her parents,
Were gone,
But the liquor cabinet key,
They got so drunk,
That night,
Mixing different kinds,
Of liquor,
With warm,
Diet Coke.
She takes her,
And taps the ash,
Into the bottom inch,
Of a,
“Big Gulp”,
That she had,
Tore away,
From the top down,
All that was left,
Was a 1-inch high,
Wax lined ashtray.
She puts in,
A different disc,
As she flicks,
What’s left,
Of her cigarette,
At an urban squirrel.
This disc was from,
Their Heavy Metal phase,
Of that night,
Or at least,
What two,
Frosh age,
For Heavy Metal.
She turns,
The volume up,
A few notches,
Her and Kari,
Were so close,
That freshmen year,
But as the summer ended,
And Cheerleader tryouts,
Out of her,
Circle of friends,
And into one,
Filled with the,
Elite and privileged.
She bumped into Kari,
Every now and then,
At school,
Just around,
But since that summer,
They rarely spoke,
More than a few words,
At a time,
To each other.
She lights another,
As she watches,
Dressed in there,
Varsity white,
Walk past,
The front,
Of her car,
All three of them,
Give her,
A snobbish look,
Partly for,
Not being,
Much of anyone,
As far as the,
School social ladder,
Was concerned,
The other part,
For smoking cigarettes.
She can hear,
One of them say,
In a very loud,
And directed voice,
“I Bet She Gets”,
“Lung Cancer”,
“Before She’s 30”.
She hollers out,
Her open,
Car door window,
All three girls,
Turn their heads,
Away from her,
In unison.
She hits,
The eject button,
Replaces one disc,
With another,
As it queues up,
And prepares to play,
She taps off,
The excess ash,
Of her cigarette,
The Big Gulp,
A love ballet,
Begins to pour,
Out the speakers,
At a fairly high,
Volume setting.
“OH F--K”,
This must be,
Disc #5,
The last disc,
Of the night,
When two drunk,
Freshmen girls,
Decided they wanted,
To both sing,
And cry,
At the same time.
She turns down,
The volume,
And listens,
For a bit,
But doesn’t even get,
Through the first song,
Before she’s reaching,
For the eject button.
Then she takes,
The 5-discs,
And carefully,
Places them,
Back into the sleeve,
And as she,
Does this,
She notices that,
On the other side,
Of the sleeve,
The girls,
Had made,
A big heart,
Writing their names,
In the center,
Of it,
With the words,
Written above,
The heart,
Written below it.
She tosses the sleeve,
With the CD’s,
In it,
On to the front,
Passage seat,
And let,
The silence,
Fill the car,
As she watches,
The rising smoke,
From her cigarette,
Change from a,
Twisting column,
Into floating layers,
As it strikes,
A metal charm,
Hanging from her,
Rear view mirror.
She takes her,
And taps the ash,
Into her,
Makeshift ashtray,
Takes a drag,
And lets her,
Right hand,
Which is holding,
The cigarette,
Come to rest,
On the center console,
In what is,
The most natural,
For it to lie,
And watches,
The smoke,
Start to rise again,
Towards the metal charm,
When it gets,
2/3’s of the way up,
Out of the,
Corner of her eye,
She sees,
Four Cheerleaders,
In their Varsity,
Coming from her,
Right side.
She takes her eyes,
Off of the,
Smoke trail,
And focuses on,
This squad of girls,
As they cross,
Right in front,
Of her.
The same girl,
That threw out,
The cancer comment,
Last time,
As they passed by,
“Hey Cancer Queen”,
“How’s It Going?”
The other 3-girls,
Begin to laugh,
All four of them,
Looking her,
Straight in the eye,
As they make,
Their pass,
Then in unison,
They snapped there,
And eyes,
In quite an,
Impressive fashion.
She made,
No reply,
This time,
Her heart,
Not really in it.
The new face,
With the other,
Was Kari,
She hadn’t even,
Seen her,
In over three weeks,
And the day,
She finds those,
Under the seat,
Was the same day,
Her freshmen,
Looks down,
On her,
As if she was,
A dirty piece,
Of trash,
Blowing across,
The school parking lot.
She turns,
Her key,
The engine,
Comes to a,
Un-tuned rumble,
She only had,
One class left,
Which started,
5-minutes ago,
So she,
Backs out,
Of her parking space,
And starts to drive,
Out of the,
Parking lot,
Then stops,
Her car,
Behind the,
Reserved parking spaces,
For Varsity Cheerleaders,
Pulls some super glue,
Out of her,
Which was still,
From 3-weeks ago,
When she used it,
To glue shut,
The valve caps,
Of the tires,
Of her then,
But now,
Boyfriend’s car.
She took,
The tube,
Of super glue,
And squeezed out,
The entire contents,
On to the hood,
Of the girl,
That made the,
Cancer cracks,
Then she took,
Her 1-inch high,
Big Gulp,
And smashed it,
Into the puddle,
Of glue,
On the hood,
Of the car.
As she started to,
Climb into her car,
She stopped,
And reached in,
And grabbed,
The sleeve,’
With the 5-cd’s,
In it,
And walked over,
To Kari’s,
“65” Mustang,
Which she had,
Courtesy of a,
Rich dad,
That liked to,
Classic cars,
And ran the,
Right through the,
Of the sleeve,
Of CD’s,
The middle,
Of the,
Hand drawn,
And splitting,
The paper,
Both of the,
She got back,
Into her car,
Lite another,
And pulled out,
Of the school,
Parking lot,
Heading for,
The closest 7-11,
To buy a,
Big Gulp,
So she could,
Her old,
     Tom Allen…04-27-2017…