Tuesday, 4 November 2014

No smoke without fire: The importance of writing as if no one is reading

My recent post Half Term-inal was cathartic. I love that my blog is a place for me to rant. Sharing my inner thoughts with the public was never my initial intention, but sharing to help others realise that Life As It Is can be utterly crap at times, is. Somewhat self-indulgent? Probably. Thinking about that however, my mother always said that my sister was the private one, whereas I would have told my life story to the milkman if I could. So here, not just for the milkman it would appear, but for you all, is a further tale of my Life As It Once Was...

As a kid growing up in one of the nicer parts of Portsmouth, life remained inexplicably inner city.

We had just hit the '80's and culture was incredibly hip. Vibrant. Neon. For some.

We all wanted a Harrington jacket off the market. And we all had to have a chopper.
(I inherited my brother's after his knees had narrowly missed his chin for far too long).

My brother.

It was outside Dinah's corner shop one afternoon, when I was on my way to Nicki's house for tea, that he gave me one of his stash.

He lit it for me. All talk. All bullshit.

I didn't inhale. (That came later). I looked away instead and tried to make it look like I had.

I wanted so much to own the swagger that came just from holding the bloody thing, and at ten years of age.


He lit another and we stood there puffing on our sticks of cancer. Pretending they were better than a stick of rock. As if.

I kind of get why now.

My brother.

Diagnosed diabetic at not quite 13. He had rebelled. Unable to consume sugar anymore, he decided to spend his pocket money on fags instead.

Afterwards I had panicked that my friend's mum would smell cigarettes on my breath, so I asked him to buy some mints for me.

He told me he wouldn't and called me stupid. And then explained that these cigarettes couldn't make your breath smell as they were menthols.


This post was sparked because of 'The Prompt' - a popular linky set up by @MomTurnedMum (Sara), who cleverly engages and encourages writers to use their imagination on a weekly basis, prompting posts that otherwise may not have ever been thought about. This week the prompt was SMOKE. Immediately I was taken back to childhood. Not to happy campfires, but to my brother. Who gave me my first ever cigarette when I was 10. He was 13. Having written this, I realise that things are so much better out than in. Especially nicotine.


Mummy Tries said...

Your poor brother, couldn't have been much fun for him. Smoking was the one vice I thankfully never got the taste for... I'd hate the idea of my kids smoking so young, hopefully they'll all be more sensible than their parents!!

Anonymous said...

I love this post! Not, obviously, the fact that your brother tempted you to smoke so young, but how you've perfectly captured the innocence of the original experience as well as your current perspective with the considerable benefit of hindsight... Thanks for sharing :)

Emma Oliver said...

So so young. I appreciate just how young now that I have godchildren the same age.

Emma Oliver said...

What a great comment, thanks for taking the time to read

Sara Murray said...

You have captured this moment perfectly, and although a first cigarette at ten is not a good thing, you have conveyed the feeling and setting and thoughts of the ten year old you so vividly. An amazing piece of writing and I'm so glad that #ThePrompt inspired you. Thank you so much for linking up, and for your very kind words x

MummyShire said...

The memory of you as a ten year old, has been captured beautifully some years (I'm guessing!) later. And your poor brother, rebelling in such a way against being diagnosed with diabetes so early on in life but you can understand why. A lovely & poignant piece xx

Lisa from Lisas Life said...

Brilliant writing. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing? #theprompt