by Kerry Rowe
The bus stop I regularly go to, to catch the bus into town, is in the next street to mine and stands outside the local pub. No matter what the weather, there are always people sitting on a picnic bench outside, with beer glasses and an ash tray that is overflowing with cigarette ends. The group who sit there are close enough for me to hear their conversation and catch the odour of their cigarettes.
I stand there and gaze at my feet; I am taken back to my grandparents’ sitting room, I am on the sofa, my feet unable to touch the floor, my grandfather is sitting in his armchair watching black and white films. Nan has a duster in one hand and is wiping it around the ornaments on the mantle piece, all the while she is taking a drag from the cigarette in her other hand, then she holds it back out away from her. I watch the wisps of smoke curling upwards, filling the room. When she has finished, Nan leaves the room and goes into the kitchen, she returns to spray at the cloud of cigarette smoke with air freshener, but that just makes it smell sweet.
It was my favourite place to be, my grandparents’ sofa, and I would snuggle down into the cushions to watch the films my grandfather watched. So, whenever I smell cigarettes, I go back to that room, where my grandfather still sits watching black and white films.