Tue 12 Aug, 2008
The lanky teacher was always taking smoking breaks.
Curiously, though, he was known to have limited himself to three sticks a day. No one asked what he did when he went for smoking breaks after three times, and no one cared. In English Rocks!, everyone was free to do what they wanted to do, as long as they turned up for classes and finished their marking on time.
The lanky teacher was pale looking and sought to make himself more outstanding by the cigarettes he smoked. But he was not a fan of smoking, and had never been addicted to the sticks of destruction. He was addicted to the image he wanted to portray though, and so never gave up the habit. Each drag of the cigarette made his mind foggier and screwed up his regular thought process, which was exactly what he wanted. With smoking, he found he could deny his core existence and impose the skin of another. Whether that was a good thing or not he did not know, but he was drawn to the pretension and the invisible walls it built between him and his contemporaries.
He remembered the student who spoke out in disgust against his breath, and suggested strongly he quit the habit or carry plenty of fresheners. Then he recalled the high school date who told him he smelled ‘too clean’. He frequently got confused over such conflicting demands. He knew just what he expected from himself, but found it impossible to conciliate others’ expectations. At these times, he holed himself up in the smoking area and inhaled the paralyzing smoke rapidly to evade thinking.
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