Retirement for me could be compared to a Saturn rocket: it went off in three stages. After my initial retirement, in 1996, I discovered the multiple pleasures of a good cigar. There was a fine smoke shop around the corner from work and I became a patron, experimenting with different brands and shapes. I’d long since quit smoking cigarettes and convinced myself that, since one does not inhale a cigar, that there was no reason to not give them a fling. [Not true.] When I returned to work the following year, the cigar smoking faded into the background and didn’t resurface until I retired again in 2004. We moved out west. I started ordering stogies on line, and went back to work. On a hike, sitting atop a 10,000-foot mountain crest, not far from our house, in the midst of ancient bristlecone pines in a national forest overlooking Zion National Park off in the distance, a fine cigar can take on the finesse and brooding comportment of a beautiful woman. Then came my third and final retirement in 2018. We returned to Florida. By then, cigar prices were so ridiculous that I devised a way to cut back dramatically. Now I no longer SMOKE them; I simply don’t light them. I just roll the cigar around in my mouth like a baby does a teething ring. So this is the manner in which I enter senility, I’m thinking, a return to infancy, except that I’m chewing on a rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco leaf, hecho a mano, instead of some machine-made plastic pacifier, but likely drooling no less.
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Ostomy Memories of Cigars
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