Monday, June 02, 2008

Motherly Advice

Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined that Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health

Legendary designer Yves Saint Laurent dies at 71

When I heard the news of YSL's death, I was reminded of a childhood memory of mine.

It was the 80's. I was wearing black clothes, trying to look sullen and calling Ronald Reagan all sorts of bad names. When not at school, I was hanging out with my friends at a coffee house downtown called the Bronze Seal, shopping in thrift stores, hanging out on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley or going to dance clubs in San Francisco. I thought I was super cool.


I am not sure when I had my first one, but during that time, I started to smoke clove cigarettes. I loved the smell. I liked the sweet taste they left on my lips. I loved that they were dangerous.


I tried to keep it from my mother. I didn't smoke when she was home and I would burn incense to mask the smell. One day, my mom came home unexpectedly and caught me. She thought I was smoking pot. I showed her the package and reassured her that I was not a pothead. She seemed relieved and told me, "Fine, just don't burn down the fucking house smoking those things."

She really didn't have any other choice. She smoked too. She smoked these long brown cigarettes that looked like slender turds.


Since I lived in suburbia, cloves were hard to find in town. At first, one of my friends from the next town over would buy them for me. Then she moved back into suburbia and I lost my connection. So naturally, I asked my mom to start buying them for me.

I had my driver's license, I could drive to the next town over but I was not old enough to purchase cloves myself. After she got home from work, I would drive my mom to the smoke shop and get her to hook me up. She was not thrilled. The commute back and forth to the smoke shop was seriously cutting into my mom's very busy social calender. After a while she refused to do it, "Why don't you just smoke regular cigarettes?" she questioned.

Once again, I was without a connection. So I took my mom's advice and picked a brand. The brand of cigarettes I chose were these:


Maybe in a future post, I will tell you about the night my mom taught me how to correctly "do" a tequila shooter.

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