Miguel determined to smoke on the age of 18, seeing how Hollywood actors did it in motion pictures. The one she appreciated greatest was Robert Mitchum as a result of he was squinting at you thru the cigarette smoke with one slitted eyelid, which gave him a blasé, life-forgiving air. Possibly that is the one means a lady might fall in love, Miguel thought. Alternatively, even though he took puffs with a measured cadence, Humphrey Bogart exhausted his butts an excessive amount of and the digital camera confirmed his at all times moist lips, which no woman would need to kiss. Miguel doesn’t bear in mind the place he smoked his first cigarette, since reminiscence at a sure age additionally turns to smoke. It might be that he was sitting on the terrace of the bar within the city sq. on the summer season festivals throughout a competition. “Robert Mitchum and Bogart swallow the smoke, as a result of they’re actual males,” a pal tempted him. It might be black tobacco, a Ducados or a Celta Largo with no filter, very a lot consistent with the favored revelry that surrounded it.
Or maybe it was in a type of events one Sunday afternoon in Valencia in a really bourgeois home that had 4 balconies overlooking the Gran Vía and quite a lot of silver within the sideboard cupboards, looking canvases in the lounge whose armchairs and sofas had been separated and the carpets raised in order that the group of associates might dance and kiss behind the curtains when on the finish the clarinet of Petite Fleur. That woman’s dad and mom have been so accommodating, that they had gone to the films with the promise to not return till after 11 at evening. The smoke blinds your eyes It was a music by the Platters that Miguel remembered whereas he had a cigarette between his fingers. There was additionally one other lovely Duke Ellington tune sung by Ivy Anderson. “Love is sort of a cigarette that burns because it will get nearer to your lips.” The artwork was understanding how one can flip it on by wanting on the woman you appreciated. It might be a fortunate strike.
Till then, tobacco had produced a sure repugnance in him, particularly since he had not been capable of overlook the scent of that darkish confessional the place, as a toddler, he poured out the string of his venial sins and the priest, who smoked two packets of choose picada a day, additionally referred to as caldo de hen, breathed into his face whereas he stroked his cheeks with tender pats. As a toddler, he had solely seen the day laborers and the previous farmers smoke a stinking black tobacco that the federal government distributed with the saca within the sunrooms, however someday when his mom took him to Valencia to purchase him garments and footwear, Miguel started to stroll the Prepare wagons. The third-class vacationers, subaltern folks and crushed by life, have been all crowded collectively underneath a thick smoke of tagarnina; As a substitute, pushed by curiosity, he got here to the silent sleeping automotive with its carpeted aisle, and in one in every of its flats he found a younger man with blond hair, in a blue jacket, grey flannel pants, a tie, and glossy footwear, who was smoking a cigarette whose smoke fashioned rings within the air and crammed it with a nice aroma of chocolate. It’s a picture that Miguel has not deserted. Over time he has been recreating it in his reminiscence. He remembers that that solitary man, so enticing, smiled at him and seeing that the boy gave the impression to be entranced by that aroma, he uttered a mysterious phrase, Camel, whereas displaying him the bundle with the picture of a camel that shone behind a clear wrapper. That character was at all times a reference within the lifetime of Miguel, who for years thought it will be great to turn out to be, like that man, a sublime man, with a cigarette between his fingers, watching life go by by the window of a practice that took you very away with out understanding your vacation spot to nowhere.
There was a time when for Miguel the category distinction was not established between poor and wealthy, employers and staff, exploiters and exploited, however between those that lit cigarettes with a gold lighter and people who did so with a wick spark plug. One smoke smelled good and one other smelled unhealthy. Within the midst of this class wrestle was the stinking style of sin exhaled by the darkness of the confessional. All through his life, Miguel moved up the social ladder relying on the model of cigarettes he smoked. Celtas y Ducados through the dictatorship and Rubio within the transition, Fortunate, Chester, Winston, Marlboro till reaching the disenchantment the place Pall Mall awaited him. After having learn so many books by the smoke and having invoked the fitting adjective with every puff, someday, whereas ready for that phrase that didn’t come, he was stunned with a lit cigarette within the ashtray and one other on his lips. Realizing that tobacco had taken over his soul, he left it.