A long long long long time ago in a land far far now thanks to covid even further away on what is now known as the Penal Colony of the Lost Isle of Australia, I occasionally "moked niggies" which is kitty speak for loved me a ""duzzbanger which is what my best friend Kate would say and thats her slang for "durry" which is Aussie slang for a "dart" which is also synonymous with a "fag" "cancer stick" "bohemien breakfast" "diet stick" "smoke" ok its just a bloody cigarette, alright.
I remember the first time I moked a niggie it was at schoolies on the Goldy in 1987 for those off you reading this who are not on or related to of the penal colony of Australia this is a debouched completion of high school celebration, which I think 35 years later is probably now illegal and consequently lame party on Queensland's Gold Coast
In my mental Refedex it had something to do with peer group pressure along side sipping a fluffy duck in the spa at the Pink Poodle - I shit you not- and the niggie I moked, well it was donated by one of my 9 schoolie/ house mate/ hotdog chef friends (its all we could afford) and was a Gudang Garam 38 milligrams of smokey, clovey, goodness. Bali in a box.
Incidentally this post school escape was also the first time I rode a scooter which was a no questions asked affair where me and my schoolie/ house mate/ hotdog chef friends gave the hire place our "P's" provisional drivers license and ten bucks each and in return were hired several fire engine red scooters no helmet no instructions. I promptly rode mine into a gutter, freaked out and pushed it back to the rental place, my auto response? To flame up a duzzbanger.
I did not tell my parents, I did not continue the habit. I went overseas for a year. I didn't smoke, I have no idea why when or where I took it up again or how long the periods of smoking where. The term social smoker became a thing, if you even jokingly got called a "smokes scab" you knew it was time to admit/hide the fact that you had a habit.
Step 1: Go to the gift shop and buy yourself a silver embossed cigarette case (it makes flaming a fag so much more glam)
Step 2: Go to the servo, not in your postcode, wearing your sunnies and buy your B&H Extra Mild
Step 3: Hide in your car while you stash the sticks in the silver ciggie case and throw out the box.
Step 4: No lighter, matches, not a box of redheads a matchbook, a souvenir from a previous adventure.
There was a fairly glamorous smoker in my formative years, it was the early 80's and I was at ballet class where I dedicated hours after school to perfecting the unperfectable. She would stand at the front of class as elegant as any black and white screen siren toes balletically turned to 9 and 3, hand on one hip smoking stick waving about in the other hand as it gesticulated smokey dance instructions. She was a world famous ballerina and we were too young to talk back. Ashtray always next to the cassette deck, her chain lit and swiftly inhaled cigarets accessorised her port de bras and pirouette demonstrations, only to be stubbed out with a sigh or abandoned to the ashtray if she had to come to the barre to correct us. She was inspirational beautiful graceful and loved. I wonder if she ever gave up?
As a dancer and in shower singer I am a lover of a good musical A Chorus Line "Can the adults please smoke?" was a line uttered by Sheila Bryant one of the older auditioners in this well loved flick
I also loved Showgirls, Bring It On is an absolute fav, Rent I can sing you the entire soundtrack with harmonies. I got to dance with the members of Cats Australian production and the Sydney Dance company I went to Ballet Camp there were always singer, dancer ,smokers. What chance did we have? Xanadu, Grease, Flashdance, Ice Castles yes seriously I love a musical. Lots of characters, lots of smokers.
Its been an on off relationship for years, usually driven by levels of stress and anxiety that I think will be alleviated by sparking a durry. I can recall periods of my life that are punctuated by pit stops of me hiding somewhere where no one catch me dieting on smokes, all of these periods stress and anxiety is a common theme. That and a periods of time where `I partied like it was 1996, 97, 98, 99, 2000, 01 02, 03, 04 05 if you know, you know how a few things go a little to great together. It was still a social event I picked it up and put it down as often as I wanted or needed to. I loved it I loathed it. I washed my hair and brushed my teeth and washed my pillow cases frequently. There was no smoking in the house or in the car (unless it was convertible)
Hospitality. If you work in hospitality. Honestly I didn't get time to pee or eat most days, I never went home and thought gee cooking might be a lovely idea. Oh and most meetings were held on a back dock some where near a skip bin.
Then there was/ is the reminder of living in Malaysia, I was 17 turning 18 and there for a year. The smell of Gudang Garam clove kretek's is like a time machine back to that adventure, layered on the memory of that first Gudung Garam on the Goldy, punctuated by the occasional arrival in Bali which I would celebrate with a Bintang and a Gudang a toast to my next adventure, may the unwinding begin. I would always stash a few packs for the weeks after my return home.
As a gym junkie, personal trainer, aerobics teacher, ice skater, sporty spicy, runner, dancer, smoking is a shit habit for your health. Worse if you have a life that screams and advocates being healthy, queue the continued clandestine assignations as you pucker up and draw back on your dart in a laneway near a trash can. Handy little helpers they are, drawing back on a duzzbanger can squash your appetite. Yeah you can bend that gem to make the assignations less loathsome like you are doing your fat self a favour.
Then came my dedication to a life in yoga, the study of asana, the understanding of breath a desire to find stillness leading to more joy and happiness and an end to my occasional as in once a year smoking event. Which ultimately just acted reminder that it tastes gross and thats just one reason why its a fucked up habit.
I would like to tell you that I stopped and that I know better, because I do, but I have still picked up the occasional Semporna and sucked the bejesus out of it. I can hear your "tsk tsking" judging me and bitching about how hypocritical I am for teaching breath and breathing smoke. Nothing you say will be as harsh as how I have berated myself. I could be charged in a court of yoga for "Ahimsa Abandonment". For some one that is so disciplined this makes me so angry at myself but in some moments (usually ones of high anxiety and coffee) its also extremely satisfying and can provide a break form my own brain.
Semporna come in packs of 10 or you can buy a single stick at your local coffee scooter, how accommodating. The traditionally smoked kreteks combination of smoke and cloves helps keep mosquitoes at bay, and there are a lot of mosquitoes to be swatted and sworn at here in equatorial Indonesia. My smoking moments are fleeting and filled with guilt. When my anxiety dissipates I don't even think about it. I can usually tell when I think I might want to and I use my yoga tools to get past the pain point, it usually takes about 30 seconds to "Pass Go and not collect $200" for any Monopoly fans.
This brings me to the subject of vaping, I cannot tell you how many health and fitness people "felate those tiny exhaust pipes " That line courtesy of Randy Feltface you can find him on YouTube & TikTok he is laugh out loud hil-fucking-arious. Believing that this habit is so much better than old fashioned sucking on a ciggie. Nicotine is addictive however you get it indi-ya. Signs are everywhere in Bali telling you to stop smoking and start vaping, but smokes are still cheaper and way more accessible literally every 50 meters and not policed. One really is as bad as the other and neither is great, vaping still produces a vapour right? And we still breath it in after the vapour lets it out?? You think that you can hide your fancy weird USB rechargeable epuffer? No you cannot (HR) Puff & Stuff your tiny tool in a restaurant or a gym. Its still a smoking of sorts with a tech update a new name and some weird new flavours. Am I a smoking purest? can't I just be a non smoker?
99.9% of the time I am a non smoker. When I really want to moke a niggie I ask why? Whats going on? Can I bypass this darker moment for a break in the weather? The answer 99.99% of the time is yes I can. When I cant, I am reminded that this too shall pass, I try not to punish my self and when I am done get back on the better self care bus.
xxx human kit xx