I don’t smoke cigarettes, but tonight feels like one of those times when I want to sit outside on the steps, stare at the stars, and smoke.
Simply me, and the stars with a silent reminder that I am merely a speck of stardust.
All of my worries, miscommunications and joys mixed with self-doubt are so little in comparison to that cold dark sky studded with constellations which we—humans—have named, trying to bring understanding to something so uncontrollable.
Yet I do have control.
I am not blowing smoke, or holding a rolled cigarette so the red coal burns at the tip—a small fire in the darkness like the silent stars above me.
Sure, I know how to roll cigarettes. As a girl, I spent hours chatting with my papa while he smoked.
I watched countless times as my papa would pull the tobacco out of the can, and effortlessly fill the inside of a paper before rolling it closed as he told stories about the world. I can almost smell the unburned tobacco while I write these words.
My children know that cigarettes are disgusting, so they wince whenever we walk past someone smoking.
They know that smoking cigarettes will turn a person’s lungs into a chamber of darkness, and eventually may lead to the passing of a soul’s body until one day you hold your papa’s ashes in your hand, scattering them against the old oak on top of the hillside surrounded by your family.
Specks of ashes, we all return to where we begin, so we sit in the sadness, wishing to speak to our loved ones when we are at our wits ends, wondering why some things are so hard.
As I sit on the cold concrete stairs, I imagine how our bodies are made of stardust collected as the Earth passes on her journey through the Solar System, so that the dust settles into our atmosphere, slipping into the cycles of water and air.
And this body of mine—who does not smoke cigarettes, but breathes in the cool air, deeply—feels like stardust tonight.
As if being a speck of stardust for a moment is the only thing that puts all of my worries, miscommunications and joys mixed with self-doubt into perspective because I am so little compared to what’s up there.
I will never have all the answers to all the questions, and that’s hard for someone like me who wants to put all the chaos of my life into perfectly ordered constellations—a moment of stillness in which just to reflect.
And yet, the pure madness of it all is that those constellations such as Orion with his arrow constantly aimed at the Bull are filled with so many chaotic explosions.
They are bursts of light becoming my solace on nights such as tonight when I want to sit outside on the cold concrete steps, stare at the stars and smoke, but I breathe instead.
Author: Jes Wright
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Images: Novra Ayamo/Pixoto