Through the cigarette smoke
Victoria Moţoc

Towards 1994, I spent a long time around Monte Carlo. Varying it with Winchester, when, financially speaking, Monte Carlo wasn?t accessible. Monte Carlo was sweeter, fuller, more refined. Winchester harsher, spicier. Well, a real Saxon! Viceroy, together with blue Gauloise had been my biggest passions. I loved the French more. Stylish, elegant, sombre. With no stamp, because it couldn?t fool around with formalities. It seduced me due to its cleverness and ability and I decided to stick with it without minding the consequences. It was Latin, as I was. I thought I understood it, knew it, and that it had been wandering through the world only to find me. I had the faith of any other trustful woman who was ardently in love. I was seduced and abandoned. Because, one day, Gauloise disappeared from the Romanian market. I only thank it for doing it elegantly, feeding me with the illusion of staying for a little longer. The last time I saw it was in Carrefour, on its own territory. Ever since, I received no letter from it. Viceroy gave me comfort for almost a year. Till one day when I decided that I had to give a chance to a Romanian as well. And I found Record. Simple but honest. It wasn?t pouring in your ear its ideas of being some kind of prince, but it fulfilled my needs, why lying? But one cannot live without poetry and Record couldn?t offer me that. It was prosaic and kind of bland even if helping me to survive my first job as editor at Rompres. And, believe me, that hadn?t been easy. For any of us.

More mature, free from preconceived ideas, more experienced and with more intensity I launched myself in a quest for new cigarettes. I had money and I could test the rich ones as well: Kent, Marlboro, Dunhill, Rothmans, Camel. There was no point, they didn?t match my first love. Or maybe I wasn?t the same either. I perversely tried the feminine ones, even if now I feel ashamed: Kim, menthol Pall Mall, More.I burnt all the experiences till the end. And thus, from cigarette to cigarette, I ended up totally confused. There was a time when I used to win over them. But that was when I still knew their names, when Kent was only of one type, not of eight, as I used to see them, stuck in the mouths of some brawly men. But now, when the majority of them are made in Romania, how could I make any difference and name them? Who should I hate, who should I love?

I had, due to a natural evolution of things, my own riot. I will not smoke! At all. Ever. I managed to keep away from the vice for two years, displaying a sort of kingly superiority. Worthy of better causes. I found reasons, set goals, militated in vain. Bloody weed! How stupid! I came back to them, repenting for my deeds. Using the back door. And here I am now! Through the coffee vapours, in this September day, I have the courage of sharing with you the history of my sad cigarettes.

Translated by Raluca Vîjîiac

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