“Yes. 6 packs of Camel Blues, please. I’m buying them for a friend.” I threw in the friend part so the workers wouldn’t think I was some sort of chain smoker. After all, I was probably their substitute teacher years ago and I wouldn’t want them to think I’ve gone off the “deep end” since moving to New York.
And the friend statement is true. Sometime before noon I got an SOS facebook message from the guy down the shore explaining his nicotine emergency. He had run out of cigarettes earlier in the AM and his car was snowed in. He mentioned something about a bike and a flat tire, and then begged me to make a trip to the corner store on his behalf.
After some back and forth banter, I finally agreed to do his bidding, and then on my afternoon run, I dropped by his place to make the delivery. I had the packs zipped into my Columbia fleece. But as he welcomed me, I told him they were all out. A mix of terror and disappointment swept over his face. After all, it had been nearly 4 hours since his last nicotine intake. He looked at my empty hands and questioned, “You didn’t pick up anything else?”
I quickly came clean, “Just kidding.” I unzipped my coat pockets and handed over all 6 packs – wishing it was me, not him, that would be smoking the boxes’ contents. But as much as I would love to take up smoking, I never would. Granted, I’ve had a least a dozen cigarettes in my life, but I keep my nicotine intake to special occasions – like tonight.
Along with my reimbursement, the guy from down the shore gave me an $8 dollar tip for my delivery services. (Okay, so the cigarettes were on sale, and he only had two $20s.) After getting in from moonlight snowboarding this evening, I explained to him, that now I was having a cigarette craving. I asked if I could purchase one cigarette back – for $1, around 1 AM.
He agreed, and now I’m off to make my first ever, for me, cigarette purchase. After all, I made $8 today. That's worth celebrating!