Nope, this story is not about the first guy I got with. It is about the first cigarette I properly smoked.
Until the age of fourteen, I moved around an awful lot. While attending school in England, I was a trouble maker and terrible in school. Essentially, I was a cool kid. When I moved to Ireland, I underwent a personality transplant. My English accent alienated me from the other students. The fact I was well spoken and could hold a conversation with the teacher meant I was a nerd. I went with it. I was never overly happy, but it didn’t weigh down on me terribly.
Popularity didn’t concern me until I was in secondary school. In third year, before my Junior Certificate, I decided I wouldn’t work as hard as I could. I wanted to stop doing well in work so that I would be on the same level as the no brainers with whom I shared a class. I didn’t pay attention or cooperate with teachers. The peak of my plan involved buying a packet of cigarettes. I bought a packet of Silk Cut and put them in my pocket, careful to remove at least one so it didn’t look brand new.
One day, while walking from school with another pupil from my class, he said he needed to buy cigarettes. I whipped out my packet and offered him one. He declined and didn’t comment any further. The following week, other students were talking of the scandal of me smoking. It was then I realised, if my plan were to come to fruition, I would need to actually smoke a cigarette in front of the ‘cool’ students. I would teach myself to smoke.
I had heard of some smokers “not smoking properly” since they didn’t inhale. I aimed to do this. One day, in a cubicle of the toilets, I lit up and took a few drags. At first it wasn’t too bad. I should learn to hold the smoke, I thought. I took a deep drag on the cigarette and inhaled a lungful of nicotine. I held it for as long as I could. Suddenly, my eyes started to dim and I felt dizzy. I gasped for air, avoiding a total black out. Noise of coughing and hard spluttering filled the cubicle. I had nearly suffocated myself.
That was the end of my hopes of coolness.