"You're not from 'round here are ya, kid?"
A grizzled stranger inquired, taking a long, slow drag off their cigarette. Narrow, squinted eyes & a hunched but intimidating frame, they drew in smoke with the narrow stick, now fully ashed 2 inches from where it began. The wanderer refused to make eye contact as they continued to inhale, half the stick now consumed in one breath. I watched as the figure depleted the cig at an agonizingly slow pace, every part of their body frozen except an ever expanding chest. As the burn reached the stranger's fingers they did not flinch, instead finishing through the filter & turning into black ash along with the cigarette.