FEATURE: 'The Length of Cigarette' by Trixie Cruz-Angeles

For a twist on Barako News, we chose to feature a story, or perhaps an appeal to friends out there who are smoking.
Smoking habit
Image: www.pbntimes.com
Here's a beautiful piece written by Trixie Cruz-Angeles, titled "The length of a cigarette". She posted the same on her Facebook account and we are glad that she gave us the permission to share her story on this platform.
My father and I had a ritual. After dinner he would take me outside where we would talk. For the length of time it would take for him to smoke a stick, he and his middle child, would discuss anything a four year old could dream about. It happened to be the length of my attention span. But I didn't know that then.

This continued for as long as he was home. When he was assigned to other places, he and I would still have our after dinner discussions, whenever he was back. It set a pattern. Papa was a log in in an ocean of adolescent confusion. When I was a bit older and felt like drowning, he would be there, to talk to me. He didn't always understand, at least then I didn't think so. For what did a middle aged man know about fourteen year old angst, what did he know about my growing interests and the sports I wanted to take up and the arts that I was so heavily into then? What did he know about juvenile crushes, the one person whom I suspected never had any trouble in that department? Yet he was there, even without saying a word, most of the time ... well, all of the time, it was enough.

But for the time it took to smoke a cigarette, he and I had a world where fathers were exactly where they were when their daughters needed them.

Those same cigarettes though, took him from me. Dying of complications of Parkinson's, Papa's smoking hastened what could have been a longer life, where his grandchildren would have had more of him. And I would still have him around for talks that by this time had lengthened to Sunday afternoons.

I miss my father. And I do not want to miss my friends who smoke. I may not have the wherewithal to make you stop. But I want you to know that I don't want to miss you. Not that way.  
Trixie works as a legal counsel at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and is currently taking up her graduate studies at UP Diliman.

Do you have stories or writings the like of what Trixie has? You may send them to us via our contact page and who knows, they might just get published.

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