*Again.. all my stories are absolutely true!
I had just started smoking right after my 12th birthday being taught by my uncle and cousin’s husband how to inhale and smoke like a man. It felt great knowing that I was taught and being coached by two heavy long time smokers who knew that I had feelings of becoming a smoker.
My dad had some 1st cousins who had emigrated from Italy a few years before and who were always grateful of being called over from “the other side” to join their family in America…the four handsome young brothers all smokers while their sisters were not…(as it was taboo for woman to smoke at that time).
I remember two of them smoking some Italian brand, while the other two smoked Kents.
The youngest one Franco was in his late 20’s at the time and spent a lot of time visiting us at our home. He was very athletic and muscle bound and a great soccer player. He got hurt badly during a game and could no longer play and decided to get a cosmetology license in haircutting and styling, as some of his friends owned a salon. He got his license and began offering haircuts to family members in their homes…and so it was that my Dad asked him to come over one night and cut my hair.
Franco came over one night and my Mom set up a make-shift station in my room on my desk for him along with a chair and a towel and newspapers on the floor. He took out his comb and scissors, along with a pack of Marlboro reds box and a lighter and placed it on the station… immediately my heart began to pound in excitement seeing that now he was smoking Marlboro reds. He was about to start my haircut when my Dad walked in and saw his pack and told him it was OK to smoke in the house and brought him an ashtray.
He lit up and inhaled heavily on his red doing huge smoke snaps and exhaling huge plumes of creamy thick white smoke out of his nose and mouth as he began to cut my hair…taking a few drags in between every few snips of hair. Right then and there I wanted him to know that I smoked too…and craved to smoke at that moment and knew he was watching me, watching him. I couldn’t get up my nerve to let him know…but thought it would be so cool to smoke with him not to mention that I was now craving a smoke too.
We were talking quite a bit during the haircut..which made it last longer than a usual haircut as he smoked another 2 reds with me looking straight at him as he smoked..and he knew it. I was hoping he’d ask me if I wanted one but he didn’t..I guess because of my age and that I was his cousin’s son.
I knew he was finishing up as was checking the haircut and about to clean my neck… when he stopped and lit another red. I couldn’t take the feeling anymore and knew I had to make a move.. now or never, still watching him inhale and exhale so hard and deep.
Franco was about half-way through his red when I just looked up at him and blurted out… “Franco..please can I take a few drags from your cigarette?”.. he looked at me dumbfounded, cocked his head and said “you smoke?”…and I proudly said “Yeah, I do”.. and again, he looked at me strange in disbelief and just stood there with the red between his fingers…and he said “your kidding right”..and I said…”no…I’m not kidding”…and said “please..let me take a few drags” at which point he motioned his hand over to mine and I eagerly took his red between my fingers, put it between my lips, dragged hard and inhaled deep. I held in the smoke for a few seconds and then let it out in a long slow stream from my mouth, then nose, then both….and then did it again a few more times as his mouth dropped open in amazement, shook his head again..and this time smiled. I had noticed the filter was a light gold color, but after taking a few hard drags changed to a dark brown full of nicotine. I motioned the red back to him and he said “you can finish it…enjoy!”
Franco shook his head and said…”you really do smoke and know how to inhale…. Since when did you start smoking?”…and I replied..”smoking about 2 months now”…
As he was asking me these questions I was smoking the red down to the filter inhaling deep as he watched me. “How’d you learn how to smoke and inhale properly” he asked…and told him that my Uncle Joe and my cousin’s young chainsmoking husband taught me.
I had finally broken the barrier of being a smoker now, not only with my uncle and my cousin’s husband, but now with Franco too..which led to me being able to smoke freely with another smoker.