"Good," I replied, with a full body cringe. No exaggeration; I actually felt guilty for telling such a horrible lie. As if she even really cared how I was in the first place. Feeling deeply, physically guilty for sparing the blissfully unaware Starbucks girl from the state of my life has to be one of the most strange and unexpected things that has ever happened to me. I ordered a Caramel Macchiato and ran away.
Today I was sitting outside in the sun and I wanted to smoke.
I've never had a cigarette. I'm almost positive I never will, and when I'm in my right mind there's no way I'd ever touch them. But there have been, maybe three times in my life when I wanted to start. Today was the worst.
There I was thinking about a cigarette. The product of a previous patron's vices, resting there all used up in the tray on the table, asking me to toss in a friend for itself. Considering I didn't have any, I kindly declined. But it got me remembering.
A pastor once told me this story once about the first time that his wife was away for a night. He was so nervous that he took up and quit smoking all in a single evening. Out of his mind, I remember him recalling. An extremely strong man brought to his knees by simply the absence of his beloved, one woman with no supernatural powers. Just a woman.
Or maybe there is more to it than that. Maybe it's not weakness, or simple loneliness; maybe it's no fault of his own. Maybe it's the separation of two that should not be separated.
When I came home from Hawaii, Sarah ran to me and grabbed me and wouldn't let me go.