30 May 2003
hell freezes over

Since my Dad started his new job two years ago, for the first time, I am able to have lunch with him in the middle of the day. I guess theoretically I could've had lunch with him while he was still a teacher, but as far as I know, he got a measely 45 minutes and Northern Lebanon High School was in the middle of bumblefuck anyway, with maybe two eateries (if that) within a 5 mile radius.

SARCC moved into a new, downtown building a little over a month ago, and is part of a small revitalization of Lebanon's fledging downtown district. New shops and businesses seem to spring up every time I visit; I could almost say Cumberland Street is starting to look, well, charming.

So I met my Dad for lunch on this day, and parked on Sixth Street (in Lebanon you get an hour for a quarter), and we walked down the street a block and a half to a small lunch place called Cumberland Coffee and Tea. On the way, we approached a small cigar shop. A hand lettered sign stood out on the sidewalk, advertising something called a humidor. My Dad was already halfway in the door.

"C'mon, I'm going to get a cigar."

Somewhere along the line, my Dad suddenly started smoking cigars. I can't figure out when, but he now knows all the gadgets that accompany such a hobby: a thinger to put a hole in the end, whatever it's called, another little thinger to cut it, another little thinger to cover and save it if you don't smoke it all at once.

Once inside the store, he led me to a small back room. The humidor. The air was damp and cool, and boxes and boxes of cigars were displayed on the shelves. He led me through the room, this one is sweet, this one is very traditional, this one is strong, etc.

"I smoked a cigar once." I told him. "It was one of those strawberry flavored Philly blunts you get at Wawa, ten to a pack."

He gave me a look of incredulous disgust.

"What? They tasted good. Like strawberries."

He finally selected his cigar, and I bought some Djarum clove cigarettes. I smoked these all the time my freshman year of college, and every time I've smoked one after that, I'm reminded of that time in my life - living in the dorms, eating in the dining hall, going down to South Street to that little bodega that never carded.

We had lunch out on the sidewalk, and watched the traffic on Cumberland go by. My Dad knew nearly everyone that walked down by; it was either a handshake, a smile, or a quick conversation from him. He started his cigar, and I lit a cigarette, and there we were, father and daughter, enjoying a smoke together.

reading: old love letters
listening: Neko Case, Furnace Room Lullaby

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