Ostomy Memories of Cigars


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.


Cigars are even more difficult to give up than cigarettes, unless you are like Mark Twain who said: "Giving up smoking is easy, I have done it many times." My favorite was the Cuban Romeo y Julieta. The owner named them after the Shakespeare tragedy, but he also had a horse named Julieta that he entered in international races. How could it lose with a name like that? I gave up smoking through the electronic vaping device Juul, and a flavor called Virginia tobacco. They say it is harmful also but less than cigarettes. It did help me. The problem is that it is addictive also and many times more expensive. Their pods and the kit are expensive here, more than colostomy bags, except the shop owner delivers them to the home at short notice. Both items are manufactured in America and there are probably custom duties on them. Anyway, glad to hear that you have given up on both cigars and cigarettes. Let's see how long I can stay off them. Best wishes.

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