The security guard in my building is old. He doesn’t smoke. He used to smoke, but not anymore; he tells me every day. His English is not very good. Now that winter is dead, he spends more time outside. He finds me there and he says, “I used to smoke, but I don’t, now.”
Then, yesterday he came to me. He said, “I remember a story. There was a smoker, a soldier. And, he was smoking. The colonel. Colonel, you know?”
I nodded, took a drag.
“Yes. A colonel, he saw a soldier smoke. And the soldier saw the colonel and he threw the cigarette away. So, the colonel comes to the soldier and he picks up the lit cigarette and he, asks ‘is this yours?’ And the soldier says, no. And the colonel says, ‘no, it is yours, I saw you.’ And the soldier denies it and tells the colonel maybe it was his but before anything a sniper shoots the colonel right in the head.”
He made a pfft sound and poked himself in the head.
“Oh,” I said. I held my cigarette at my side. The security guard pointed at it and nodded.
“So,” he said, knowingly.
I nodded. “So.” I walked and put the cigarette in the ash tray. He nodded.
“To your health,” he told me and held the door for me to go back inside.