How it started

I remember the night I started smoking.  I was at F&M’s patio bar in New Orleans, La.  There were a couple people there working for some cigarette company (the brand escapes me now, I am sure it will come to be eventually) walking around giving out free packs of cigarettes.

All my friends smoked.  I wanted to know what they liked about them.  Also, I was insecure and wanted to fit in with them.  They rep handed me a pack of smokes and I lit one up.  It burned.  It was gross.  Inhaling was next to impossible it hurt so bad but I made myself do it.

I got my first nicotine buzz.  It made me dizzy, but it was fun.  Suddenly I was smoking with everyone else.

I lived in the fraternity house.  I woke up in my bed with a pounding headache.  Pretty usual for most of my college experience.  My mouth tasted gross.  Smoking is disgusting.

Mark Nelms was an older guy in the fraternity.  People liked him.  He was a good time, super funny, always coming up with something fun to do, always meeting new girls.

He showed up at the house with his dog and I took a walk with him.  He offered me a cigarette.  I didn’t really want one, but I took one anyway.


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