[Previously on Mrs. Dalloway On My Mind: Without current or storm to carry forth the seeds we seeded on the shrinking shores, where would we be? How would the word spread, the verve and skill, how would it tread the world and make itself available to all those willing to use it? . . .]
The turmoil we suffer is our great enabler, our amazing host that supports our volatile awesome explosive nature, some of which goes astray, of course, put to ill use; vile effect: smoking, for example. In public places or closed spaces, in tiny, unventilated areas jam-packed with people there are smokers spraying their surroundings thick with unbreathability, toxicity. A haze of nasty lung-soot suspended midair, stretching from wall to wall. Tobacco, processed and chemical, has nothing to do with the medicine plant once enjoyed around the fire; the good old puffs one took from a flaming set of leaves to ward off the bad spirits. This here modern-day smoking, this radioactive tobacco everyone sucks on is all discharge, all bad itself, a battery of nasties waiting to shoot into living tissue and make a meal out of it, yeah, that’s what processed tobacco smoking does, a habit unfathomably loathsome — ditto for the sour-smoke breath that comes with it, the phlegm-coated gums and the ashtray mouths — do smokers kiss living people with those lips? Don’t things die inside the mouths they kiss, the flesh they touch? Don’t their loved ones’ lips burn to their touch, flake off like dry paint and fall to the grimy floor, to be crunched under the holiday song and dance? The toxicity is extreme, eating away at flesh, mind, a host of bodies and brains eroded and dripping with pain and rust, looking to infect those still intact, to spread the rot and steep everyone in their exhaust fumes so the world may suffer and erode equally. Yeah, that’s the problem. Done in one’s own privacy, no sweat, knock yourselves out, smoke away, but you had to come together in large numbers and agent-orange everyone around you. That constitutes a crime, and even though the laws are not yet up to speed with the act, not in certain parts of the country, the necessity to call this act a crime, a chemical attack with vicious intent, or criminal negligence, call it what you will, it’s an assault, this act, a behavior that ought to be punished accordingly. Until it is, and I will make sure that one day it is, that one day the smokers who’ve been harming other people with their who-gives-a-shit attitude will pay with a pound of flesh, until then, I tell you, my friends, if you value your health, you had better stay away from all such gatherings and congregations, all those parties smothered in sour chemical flesh-eating smoke, of which there’s plenty to go around. All the get-togethers are oozing with it, drowning in it, but then there’s the laughs, plenty of laughter and good vibes, plenty of booze and cheers and all kinds of salutations, so fuck it, come with me, let’s go to the parties after all and sniff out the fresh-air corners and pockets and vents of good health where the chemicals don’t drip . . .
Watch this space for Part 5