Bad Dispositions

by Catherine Marinelli

I took a drag on the cigarette hanging loosely from my fingers. Smoke hung deep in my lungs before curling out my lips like ashen tumbleweeds. My eyes watched as the smoke tumbled over one another in the dim light of my apartment. A permanent haze seemed to loom over everything, probably from my incessant smoking. I’ve always thought that since we’re all going to die anyway, might as well live life to the fullest.

I picked up my wine with my spare hand, taking a long sip of the dark red liquor. It slides down my throat, slick as oil, staining my lips cranberry red. More smoke fills my lungs as I stand, reaching for my nearly empty wine glass. My feet shuffled slowly as they carried me to my kitchen placing my wine glass in the sink; the act felt so mechanical, memorized by my muscles. I closed my eyes, not sure how long I was going to stand there, smoke trickling into my nose. The breath I did not know I was holding slipped out my nose as I turned around. My muscles went stiff as I faced the small table next to my chair. I flicked my cigarette once as I approached the table; it never got easier. Smoke hung above the tea cup before slowly sinking into it’s now cold contents. The drink stared at me, accusing, why she had to die instead of me. What had she ever done? She should have made it home; she should have sipped her favorite tea while reminiscing about her day. Every day I would listen because that’s what sisters do. It should have been me, she never did anything wrong; the cigarette and half empty bottle confirmed that. I was the bad daughter, the mistake, it should have been me. I took a long drag on my cigarette before putting it out, lighting up a new one as I got a new wine glass.

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