The First Smoke
Updated: Jul 9, 2018
Ken Hamlin is one of my very best friends. When you’re friends with a guy, it’s best you choose one that gets who you really are, otherwise, you’ll hear him say to you in the middle of one of your rants, “ I’m not one of your girlfriends.” He said that when my intuition told me he’d found the gal of his dreams. I could feel the shift in his demeanor - for the better. A similar gesture was made when he broke the news he had retired libations in trade for cigars.
In true buddy fashion, I indulged his latest obsession.
I watched Ken roast the edges of his cigar, blow on it and intently measure the red flame. I was impressed but I thought this was a new venture. He’d clearly done this dozens of times before. My anxiety just shot from 4 to an 8 instantly and flashbacks of inadequacies arose. He hands me a Tabak Especial from Drew Estate and steps away; I’m sorry, what am I suppose to do with this? Was he going to threaten me with a demotion too?
He lights me, now realizing, with the paper band at the bottom (AMATURES!).
I committed 3 beginner infractions:
1.) Self-doubt/Intimidation. Immediately I didn’t want to engage in the unknown. For the record, I wasn’t worried about smoke in my hair but I was totally okay in not risking “looking silly.” Priorities!
2.) I inhaled. I’m sure like many others, I only knew of one way to smoke. I pondered why he didn’t illustrate how to properly pull in the smoke? I’m was sure there is a manipulation of the mouth in order to succeed.
3.) Held the cigar incorrectly. They’ll say there’s no real way but I disagree because I definitely dropped it…twice! To hold it correctly is to not drop it; do I peace-sign it? Hold it like a pencil? Wrap my index finger around it like a bacon-wrapped hotdog? Sooner or later, I found my way but finding your comfort level holding a stick is vital to your smoking experience. Just practice before you light it or your lap will suffer the consequence.
Once I smoked past the label and studied the body language of those around me, I was finally on my way. Or so I had convinced myself. What I believed to be a social call, eventually became moments I’d soon revisit. With better training of course.
What beginner infractions have you committed?
If you liked this article, tell us your thoughts on your first time smoking in the comments below! We’d also be happy to answer any questions you may have!