The No. 1 Killer
This morning at about 11am, Derek and I were sitting on the chairs outside of the Champignon cafe, having a coffee and cigarette, as we do most mornings.
A old black man with a scruffy gray beard shuffled up to us. “Either of you have a cigarette I could have?” he asked.
“Sure,” I said, and proffered my pack of Camel Wides. He took one while saying something like, “I been quit for a few weeks now, but it’s stressful here in America.”
“Sure is,” I said, as Derek offered his lighter to the man. The man lit the cigarette and, as he puffed his first puff and gray smoke wreathed his face and he began to shuffle off, said, “Thanks. Stress, you know—that’s the number one killer.”