Maybe I’m just easily influenced. I was hugely into action shows in my early days, so it’s no surprise that I took up Tae Kwon Do with my family, and it’s no surprise that we didn’t do it that long. These days, I take a lot of time when making decisions; I don’t make a commitment unless I’ve had a year to think about it. I’ve figured out that if I were to get a tattoo, I would get it on my back, and likely the phrase ‘Momento Mori’ after years of consideration. I’ve decided that I do want to take up martial arts again. And no matter how much I’ve tried over the years to convince myself not to, I want to smoke. Badly.

Some people think smoking doesn’t make you look cool. Those people are liars, or straight-laced kids who convinced themselves that everyone who smokes is automatically a dumbass. I am incapable of lying to myself like that. If I see someone smoking, especially if they are doing it in a cool pose (I’ve seen plenty of them, yes in real life) then I immediately wish I could be doing it. Ghostlightning, a 32 year-old seasoned smoker, did a post about the anime characters he’d like to have a smoke with. I cannot fathom how awesome it would be to bum off one of Yasu’s badass cigs and chill with him.

Of course, though, the anime character who makes me want to smoke the most is my darling Itou Nobue. For quite a while I’ve been more attracted to anime girls who smoke, but if I think about it, Nobue may have actually caused that obsession without my even noticing it (the motorcycle fascination would be a combo of her and Kino, probably.) Indeed, I have a great fantasy of dating a smoker and being able to chill and have a smoke with them, perhaps observing sunset on a lake… before driving home through the cool night on a motorcycle – getting ahead of myself.

My desire only got stronger when there was a chapter of Ichigo Mashimaro actually explaining how Nobue started smoking (since in the manga she is only 16 and the other characters generally frown on the activity.) She explains that when she was 10 years-old, she saw a man smoking in the park and thought it looked really cool. The man accidentally left his cigarettes behind, and she took them. When she first tried to smoke, she couldn’t do it, but she actually spent years training herself to smoke, because she wanted to that badly. Such dedication!

No matter how much I think about it, I want to smoke. So why haven’t I gone out and started? After all, I’m 18, so it’s not like I can’t buy them myself. To put it simply – I have no money, and I can’t afford to get addicted to them until I have a steady income. In the US, cigarettes are criminally expensive, and I have an addictive personality – I know I wouldn’t be able to stick out with a ‘once in a while’ schedule for long.

Health risk? Who cares. Everything is a health risk. This 2/3 lb. Monster Thickburger I just ate is a health risk. The secondhand smoke from my dad’s cigarettes when I go into the garage is a health risk. Sitting in a chair 12 hours a day is a health risk – I don’t really care about that shit. I’d much rather get that good feeling from a smoke, and perhaps look really badass while doing it. Besides, I’ve always got something in my mouth as it is.