THINGS DO INDEED CHANGE
I was a smoker for 20 years. Even as I write this at age 36, that is hard to believe. However, every time I do the math it checks out. When I was first picked up at the airport in San Jose by my roommates, they had an assortment of goodies waiting for me at home. Riding in an overstuffed cab from the airport, through La Aurora, San Joaquin, and eventually San Lorenzo was a path through backstreets and barrios that I would soon come to know all too well. It was nightfall, and I remember the wind blowing in through the window of the cab, the palm trees periodically waving as if to say hello, and the steel bars around all the houses. Tin roofs, dimly lit narrow roads, everything connected with no definitions of town borders, no road signs to speak of. It was all so foreign. Upon arrival at the house, I got the tour and almost in a bragging fashion showed how much studio equipment I was able to get on the plane. We relaxed on the front porch where I was given my first cold can of Imperial and 20 pack of Delta Light cigarettes. As any smoker will attest, the flavor of what you are going to smoke can make or break a location. When I drew on that first cigarette and sipped that sweet brew, I knew that it would be a long time before I would walk away from something that cost less than $1 per pack. As I type this now I think two things: 1) I’m glad I quit. 2) I stopped spelling flavor with a “u”. Things do indeed change.