My First Cigarette

Strangely enough, I remember the first cigarette I ever smoked. S.H. was the culprit who got me started and I have been fighting with that addiction ever since then.

It was summer, during our extensive holidays, walking from my house in Vestagervej (Copenhagen, Denmark), down Ryvangs Allé, which was just behind our house, to Svanemøllen Station. Below the third-last tree on that alley, S. suddenly popped out a pack of cigarettes and said, “Give it a try! It’s fun!”. I did, and we did silly stuff like jumping up and down to feel the buzz. Childish. Dumb.Because my dad had a huge storage of cigarettes stashed away in the basement and around the house for regular events with many guests, I fed said addiction with unfiltered “Reval” cigarettes (a German brand) for months and I can still taste those nasty fags today. I then graduated first to Marlboro, then to Prince (Danish), then to red Cecils (Danish) and have been all over the map since.

I also stopped once for a whole year and more, but that’s another story.

Note: This memory basically jumped into my face when I watched “Flammen og Citronen” (2008), a Danish film focusing on two key figures of the Danish Resistance. Towards the end of the film, the two are arrested on above-mentioned Ryvangs Allé, not far from where I started smoking (actually, you can make the spot out in the distance). Amazing what kinds of suppressed memories can suddenly come to the forefront again, bright and clear as day.

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and deus62.com is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

  1. I started at 19 and instantly loved smoking. I stopped for five years once. But usually my quits are only a few months long. Still – better to keep fighting, right? If only I didn’t so thoroughly enjoy it. Anyway, stopping again as of the day before yesterday. A ‘Christmas quit.’ Maybe this is it! (For a while!) 😉

    There are places in Copenhagen that have such strong associations for me. The Lakes, for example, between CIS and Lille Trianglen. There are a million plays acting themselves out from my past when I walk along the Lakes! You too, I bet.

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  2. Maeve,

    my mom actually gave me one of those “Stop Smoking” manuals, the most successful one globally.

    My problem was, and this must be Freudian to the extreme, that I knew all the arguments within, simply because they had all played out in my mind a trillion times. The arguments I used to counter-act those in the book were basically an “I’m too intellectual to fall for that obvious stuff” kind of thinking. Convoluted.

    Difficult to explain, but I still deceive myself into thinking I actually like smoking. Duh.

    Yes, Copenhagen, which I spent several months in each year from 1982 (when I left) until 2009 (when I stopped) is a treasure-trove of memories, every step of the way. On this site, you’ll get many from the time we all stayed there (and that’s one thing I pride myself in: my memories are clear and sharp as if things happened yesterday) and from the 20 years thereafter.

    Hang around and you’ll have to bear the full brunt of them all. 😀

    Volkher

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