SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING:
With all of the talk about how an addiction to cigarettes can lead to lung cancer, it’s easy to say that cigarettes are bad. But I believe in cigarettes. I’ll admit it, I am addicted to cigarettes. But my cigarette is not a stick of rolled up tobacco. My cigarette is my Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Just like a cigarette is always there for a smoker, my motorcycle is always there for me. When I get stressed out, I grab my helmet and rev the engine. The roar of the pipes clears my mind and calms me down like the drugs that are inhaled while taking a drag. When I am bored, instead of chilling on the porch and going through a pack, I hang out in the garage with a bottle of detailer and a rag to make my bike shine. When I want to have fun, I call up my friends and go for a group ride. I don’t go over to my buddy’s place and lounge on the couch and smoke the day away. For my eighteenth birthday, I didn’t buy a carton of cigarettes like my friends, I got my riding permit. When I need a fix, I pull the keys out of my pocket, not a lighter. My motorcycle is my cigarette.
Not only am I addicted to my cigarette, I am a cigarette. My best friend’s cigarette is me. When she has a bad day, she picks up the phone to call me. I help her feel better just as a cigarette would. Once, my friend was about to completely give up on her dream because it was too hard. If she did turn to cigarettes instead of to me, she probably would have given up. If we ever get into a fight, we couldn’t stay apart very long because she knows that she needs me, she is addicted to me. To her, our friendship is the greatest cigarette.
Unlike real cigarettes, these good cigarettes can lift people up, not drag them down. My brother’s cigarette is his sketch book. When he needs a fix, he pulls out a pencil and makes his emotions come to life through distinct lines and bold colors. His cigarette is what makes him get up in the morning and allows him to go to bed at night. If it wasn’t for this one fix, he probably wouldn’t be as happy as his is. My brother’s addiction will help him succeed by not only letting him vent his emotions, but by also creating wonderful drawings that will be submitted into galleries and admired by people for years to come. Some people claim that smoking helps them get through the day, but my brother gets through because of his cigarette: his art.
I have found my cigarette and I am glad that the people I know have found theirs, too. Our cigarettes are what help us love our lives and tell us never to give up. No matter what is said about addictions, I believe in cigarettes.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.