Ashes to Stardust


There’s a woman somewhere who sometimes wishes she still smoked, so she could stare at the stars. Because ever since she quit, she hasn’t once just sat on her back porch and stared off into the night sky.

There’s something so delicious and lovely and humbling about sitting beneath the stars, she thinks, realizing how small you are, yet a part of this great, unfathomable vastness we call existence.

Sometimes, she needs to be reminded of before . . . .

Many a high, drunken night she sat, contemplating her place in it all.

What am I doing?

Where do I belong?

Where am I going?

Does any of this matter?


I love smoking and I’ll never quit, she remembers thinking, pretty much every time she lit up. She’s sure it was for that reason, mainly. Smoking meant she could just sit and do nothing, with the excuse of doing something—smoking. It gave her an excuse to realize her oneness with existence. It gave her reason to sit and contemplate her complex humanity and her mortality and stupidity of doing a thing like smoking.

What a disgusting, filthy habit. One reserved for those of us who like it dirty and rough, those of us who like to live on the edge a bit, walk on the wild side, look life in the eye and tell it to go fuck itself.


She loved to smoke.

But then, she was six months pregnant and hiding with her one cigarette a day, waiting until that time at night with the sky and the moon to light up, because the moon wouldn’t judge her and the stars would keep her secret.

But the guilt wouldn’t let up. With every inhale she saw in her mind’s eye, her little starlet breathing in the darkness . . . . Until he became her star, her oneness, her time with the magic of life and existence, and she didn’t even have to go outside anymore. She didn’t even need a lighter.

So now, you will not see her on the back porch, cross-legged in baggy jeans, flicking ashes into the night air. You won’t see her blowing clouds of wishes for immortality into the abyss we call Universe. You will not see her take the last drag and flick the tiny butt kamikaze-style through the air, to be obliterated on contact with someone else’s patio fern. You will not hear the wretched hacking of that chick next door who plays her music too loud and had blue hair yesterday (pink today.) You will not wonder how she goes about living her kamikaze life, filtering in the men, the booze, the crutches one by one, in and out like the white smoke from her cigarette–whole and unlit one minute, used up, stamped out, and tossed away the next. You won’t find her mumbling forgotten Psalms to the Constellation Sasha-the-Stripper, as she decides to define her life as nothing but meaningless stardust. You will not see her vanish in the daylight, nor linger beneath her own eclipse, to see if anyone notices or cares, discovering they don’t.

She no longer exists.

In the light of the moon, she disappeared, in a puff of smoke she arose, a transmuted embodiment, a living ghost, and only a burning ember, soon to be extinguished, remained.



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