I have never smoked although I have been irremediably attracted to the whole ritual of smoking.
When you strike a match its potassium chlorate and sulfur tip lights up as if rebelling against years of being kept unignited. Then you bring the flaming matchstick to the cigarette dangling from your mouth unsure whether it should stay wedged between your lips or yield to the gravitational pull and fall. It is that in-between stage of falling and not falling that accentuates the appeal.
Then you finally light the cigarette and take the first, long breath in. A second or so later smoke comes languorously out of your mouth and nose as if blessing the world with its fading existence. There is undeniable cool to the whole action if done seamlessly. It is the aftermath of smoking that is far from cool.
It is funny how for someone who has never smoked a cigarette I can perform a rather convincing act of a seasoned smoker. The amount of time I spend thinking about smoking is equally disturbing. I call it contemplative smoking.
For me, the ritual ends in a flourish as you flick half-smoked cigarette in the air using the index finger and thumb. The trajectory had to be perfect. Otherwise it dilutes the cool factor.
I have tried to analyzed this utterly useless fixation and come to the conclusion that it is the lure of the elemental that does it for me. The fire in the flame, the sulfurous odor of a burning match, the unpredictable movement of the smoke and finally the flicking in the air of the cigarette, together they all make it one of my favorite acts. It is weird I have never succumbed to the temptation. The closest I have come is what the video above shows.
There is a distinct difference in the body language of a male smoker and a female smoker. More often than not a male smoker smokes as if he is doing the cigarette a favor. He may look upset that the cigarette does not demonstrate sufficient gratitude at having been chosen to be burnt out of existence. In contrast, a female smoker mostly shows genuine enjoyment. There is a certain delicateness to the way a female smoker holds her cigarette. Even the cigarette looks eager to be trapped between those slightly parting luscious lips. As usual I am indulging in an overzealous deconstruction of an ordinary act. But you get the point, the point being that I like the whole visual of smoking.