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The Longest Cigarette | The Daily Leaf


The Longest Cigarette

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 @ 1:26 pm | Audio, Story

Crashing into my apartment onto my knees, I held a clenched fist over my chest, I must be having a heart attack. I’m in a panic, choking for air, coughing, punching my chest “goddammit work!”, but alas air refuses to enter.

I began to crawl along the floor, pulling myself in pain across to the table where luckily my codeine addiction has left painkillers strewn across a new coffee table of mine. I put my hand up on the table, took a handful of pills, and dropped 2 or 3 into my mouth, chewing frantically, swallowing bits of opiates, praying that the last of my sins be forgiven.

And there I lay, rolling over looking into a flashing stereo clock, 5:45am. Pressing for contacts on my phone, I’m grieving now, ‘please someone pick up’, he does.

“I think”, there’s a cough of blood on my shirt sleeve, “I think I’m having a heart attack”, there’s an intermittent silence, “I need to go to the hospital”.

I hear an awakening sigh of discomfort from the earpiece, “Call someone else, I’m sleeping” , and a click from the line.

My eyes are beginning to roll into the back of my head at this point, I’m yelling at myself internally to relax, maybe I’m over exaggerating this whole mess? Pulling my laptop down onto the floor from the couch above my head, I log into my instant messenger account. No Joke.

Someone has to be online at this hour, right? For the love of god, I need help at this point, I’m praying there will be someone near me, someone who will get their sorry ass up and drag me into their backseat so I can get to the ER. Leave me at the front door, I don’t care at this point.

I poke around, all these fucking assholes with their screen names tied to their cellphones, and not one person out of the 20 or so I frantically yell a “Help!” to, will answer. I am at the point of giving up at this point, maybe this is it, maybe the light will come soon.

Then there’s the familiar sound of a door opening, someone has come online. Jenn. “HELP”, I force out into the keyboard, with a slight hesitation I pound on the ‘return’ key. For a moment, there is no response, my heart sinks further into pain, when suddenly …

“Help?”, she is confused, she probably thinks I’m out of my drunken mind, it is after all 6am on a sunday morning at this point.

“I think I’m dying”, again pounding on the ‘return’ key.

“You’re always dying”

“This isn’t a joke, I think I am having a heart attack”

‘Jenn is typing a response’, the entry flashes on my screen for a good 3 minutes, I can tell she’s hesitating with her response, “seriously?”.

At this point, the codeine is slipping into my blood, the aspirin tied together with those pills begins calming my chest, and my bloodshot eyes start to relax, “Seriously.”.

I decided at this point, that I had lost the game. I pulled a pen from my pocket and carved into the wood on my couch leg, “I loved you…”, and fell shortly into sleep.

Hallucinations poured over my eyes, voices of dead relatives, laughter of ex girlfriends, hands slipping away from my own… There was no light at the end of the tunnel, only darkness…


I awoke in the hospital, looking down at my wrists wrapped in gauze, surrounded by nurses. Immediately my chest began to pound with more pain than I have ever experienced in my life, my senses returned sharply, and with every bit of energy I could pull from my body I screamed, “IT HURTS”. My eyes again rolling into the back of my head, I went into shock and blacked out.

Just one more wish

Just one more wish

At last, I woke in a hospital room, the beeps of a heart monitor at first distant then nearer until light slipped into the cracks of my eyelids. The first thing I saw was a tube running from my side full of blood, and intense sharp pain running through my chest.

A nurse was next to me writing diagnostics from the monitors into a tablet, and with dry cracked lips I managed to let out a soft, “what.. what happened?”.

Euphoria slipped into my blood, morphine, momentarily draining out the intense pain that pulsed throughout my body, “You had a lung collapse, two holes burst open, we’ve put two staples into your right lung”.

The first thought that poured through my mind, ‘Aw shit’, followed by an intense feeling of loneliness as I realized that the one I loved was nowhere to be seen.

Alone in a hospital room, tubes running every which way from me, pain pulsing through my body, on the brink of death, she’s nowhere to be seen.



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