Panic and Time for a Good Cigar
April 9, 2013A writer I respect did a column on panic attacks.
This brought to mind my own, which are rage attacks and usually in the middle of the night, early morning hours.
I get up, out of bed and take out one of my precious Cuban cigars, roll it around on the tips of my fingers and tell myself to calm down, or I might break the wrapper of this expensive cigar.
I remind myself that if I do kill this person, their lights will go out and they'll no longer be on this earth; and they'll be relieved of my rage. I'll still have the rage.
I light the cigar in the manner prescribed by the now defunked Dunhill cigar tobacconist, with the flame below the end of the cigar so it lights to a red, glowing strawberry by the heat and not the flame -- which will create a carbon taste -- ever so slightly change the flavor for the beginning.
And, all of this detail has dampened the rage, wanton desire to kill this person, this impediment to my sanctuary. Realizing this is an anxiety attack and settling in to enjoy this cigar; I recall some factual thing. My knowledge of history that refreshes my days of peace and tranquility when I learned about the French Compte Nicoteana for whom nicotine was named; and the major 17th Century proponent of tobacco, cigars especially.
The draw on the cigar is sometimes blocked, hard, for the Havana cigars are rarely all perfect; but when the draw is right it's pure pleasure. No pill can clam the soul like a fine cigar.
The idea that so many cigar smokers had reputations for killing, or eliminating their 'frustrations' with the gun I wanted to buy.
I bought the cigars, instead.
With one last flinch at my inner emotional twist that was an outward reflection of the inner struggle, of the fight, the stabbing motion, the pull of the trigger; and then I slowly ash my cigar that by this time has a good one inch of pure pleasure manifest burned tobacco.
It's not over, just on the downward slide. The cigar is still good for another hour.
The thing that worries me is that the good cigar gives me pleasure from my attacks of rage; or that instead of smoking the cigar I might actually buy the gun and do the due.