It will be springtime. A day warm enough so we can be outside and drink coffee while we’re at it. I will have the radio with its speakers facing out the kitchen window, and she will slide the ashtray over the beige tiles of her patio table, to me, her daughter, who will light a cigarette.
I will go cigarette for cigarette with my mother. A day of binge smoking. My chidren will not be present to see me do this, though I will take pictures for when they are old enough.
I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve spent years admiring the vintage elegance of a cigarette held between my mother’s fingers. When she’s mad, the smoke hangs crassly from the crevice of her lips, dangling like a modifier, separated from her daintiness.
My mother’s not a woman who hides what she thinks, but she says only what needs saying. Much of what I say is unimportant. I chatter nervously to fill her silences.
“That sounds like a horrible idea,” my husband says.
“But I’m going to write about it,” I say. I wonder what else I can blame on writing.
“What are you going to write?”
“I won’t know until I write it,” I say.
The more I think about it, the more I know that I have to do it, the more I imagine the weight that will sit on my chest the following day, the more it will not leave me alone.