May 15, 2006


Rich's Cigar and Magazine Shop in downtown Portland is a treat to enter. Not only do they seem to carry every magazine available, the aroma of tobacco puts one in a sense of calmness. It is a good balance for me as the racks of magazines can be more to bear!

About a year ago, a friend was having a Port and Cigar party. I don't smoke cigars, but one of the guests brought in various clove cigarettes. I was offered one and just loved the smooth, sweet taste, which also enhanced the flavor of the port. I succombed to have another, but cut myself off at that point. Off and on through out the following months since, I often thought about a pack.

Flash forward to yesterday, while walking to pick up some art supplies, to my pleasant surprise, I was walking right by Rich's. As I enter, the aroma hits me, to the left, the magazines, to the right, too many to count tobacco products. At the back of the shop, multitudes of various cigars behind counters and humidors. I could have spent hours in there, but I had an agenda for the afternoon. So, just pick up a few magazines, and a pack of one of the finest Indonesian clove cigarettes and I'm off.

I didn't crack the pack open and smoke. This had over the months of being deprived become an event for myself, to enjoy my first clove cigarette in over a year. This morning, sitting at one of my favorite cafés, having an americano, outside in the rising temperature of the day, the time was right. 2 of the regulars had surprising looks on their faces, as they've never seen me smoke before. I was offered a light and took my first toke. Just as I remembered... smooth, and sweet, enhancing even the flavor of coffee. The wait was worth it...

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