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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The 6am Smoker

The night is perfect. It is the best time of day. It is quiet and cool. No superficial people, just the optimistic chirps of birds. This is the domain of the 6am smoker.

I don't know what he's doing up at this time. I can see him from my ground floor window, sipping a cigarette. The night seems to get stiller with every exhalation. Winter has left but a single leaf on the naked tree next to him. I don't know his name but I'm tempted to go ask him what he's doing and why he chooses this time to grace the silent courtyard.

From a distance I see a profound sadness in his eyes. Perhaps he's reflecting on a day or a life. On what's gone well and what hasn't. I think he's thinking about someone because there is longing in his expression. His face is young but his demeanour is tired. Looks like he comes here to escape the world, his cigarette an ally. Early morning provides solace - but from what?

His sleeves are folded up, in defiance to the cold. After a while, a look of contentment spreads across his face. Maybe the cigarette has served its purpose. Maybe the exploration of his own mind has yielded some answers. While the rest of the world dreams about sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, our hero is trying to out-stare the night. People are funny things.

I wonder who's lonelier- me or him?


witnwisdumb said...

Lovely. I could just visualize the whole scene in great detail, your writing provided such vivid imagery. I thought you said in your previous post, though, that you would not write of sadness, loneliness, or all things related anymore. :P

Farcenal said...

Thanks. The last post was a rant, and therefore is to be taken with a pinch of salt. Those were the view of my passive-aggressive side. He says hi.

I don't want to focus on negative feelings, is what I meant to say. I'll write about them because, hey, I think all emotions are documenting!

Vijay Bhat said...


I could feel the Q_U_I_E_T of 6am.
And the way you got 'into his skin' is true empathy...or be-coming that which one is observing. If done with full awareness and zero judgement, it is a deeply therapeutic thing for both, the observer and the observed.

Love, Mum

AG said...


those were some awesome lines,
i loved the way uv captured the sense of the night, the emotions running through, the effect a cigg. has on a person.