His wife asked him to buy a cigarette. "Excuse me?" he asked. "Since when do you smoke?" She said it was for the Chinese New Year. Her dead grandfather used to smoke. The cigarette was for grandpa. He went to the newsstand. He asked how much a pack of cigarettes was. It was $11. He asked how much the cheapest pack was. It was $10. He asked if they sold single cigarettes. They didn't. He didn't want to spend $10 on a whole pack of cigarettes. His wife had asked for only one cigarette. A woman nearby was smoking a cigarette. "Excuse me," he said. "Can I buy a cigarette from you for a dollar?" He offered her a dollar bill. She gave him a cigarette. She refused his money. He felt lucky. He had gotten a free cigarette. And it was a Marlboro—the best! Grandpa would like that.
Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved.