Sometimes, I just hate smokers.
This is a somewhat nonsensical statement, since I'm puffing at a cigarette while I write this, the latest in a long line of tobacco reaching fifteen years into my past. I quit for nearly a year once, but it wasn't hard to fall back into the noxious habit.
It's not projected self-loathing that makes me hate smokers. I understand the addiction all too well. It's not the smoke itself, either - when the general public stops driving cars, I'll believe the complaints about secondhand smoke. It's something else.
A few years ago, I visited the Grand Canyon with my son. It is everything it's cracked up to be. The vistas are breathtaking, and definitely something worth seeing if you ever get the chance. Except for one thing - the cigarette butts, blown like fiberglass leaves into small piles against the rim.
Here, back in Ohio, a woman throws her finished cigarette, still lit, to the ground. It lands within five feet of an ashtray, ready to commisserate its woes with the dozen or so butts that have met a similar fate. After she walks away, I'll pick it up and take care of it when I get my own. I've learned; I've confronted several people about this behavior, and its never gone well.
The smoke from her discarded cigarette slowly dissipates, but a question lingers.
Picking it up, throwing it away, I can't help but wonder what was so hard about getting rid of it the first time.
The world may never know.
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