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But I don't smoke by Josiah Jacobus-Parker


Graeme

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I'm not sure what to make of this, and I think that's good.

I can sense there are deep meanings in many parts of this story, but I'm having trouble working them out. I'm going to have to go away and think about it. I suspect it's going to be one of those stories where everyone will take something different out of it.

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Graeme says:  I'm not sure what to make of this, and I think that's good.  

I can sense there are deep meanings in many parts of this story, but I'm having trouble working them out. I'm going to have to go away and think about it. I suspect it's going to be one of those stories where everyone will take something different out of it.  

C'mon Graeme... can't you see it's a story about the dangers of smoking?

:p

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Graeme says: I'm not sure what to make of this, and I think that's good.

I can sense there are deep meanings in many parts of this story, but I'm having trouble working them out. I'm going to have to go away and think about it. I suspect it's going to be one of those stories where everyone will take something different out of it.

C'mon Graeme... can't you see it's a story about the dangers of smoking?

:p

Oh yeah that's it. Don't smoke. Cause if you do, you'll get... raped... and then blow up in a car crash... and you wont be able to finish your cigarette. THERE IS A LESSON FOR US ALL HERE. :wink:

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I'm not sure what to make of this, and I think that's good.

I can sense there are deep meanings in many parts of this story, but I'm having trouble working them out. I'm going to have to go away and think about it. I suspect it's going to be one of those stories where everyone will take something different out of it.

Tell me what you come up with when you're sure. I'd be interested to hear what different people get out of it.

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But...I don't smoke either. Yup, that's the message. OK, maybe not, huh?

This was good, the lack of clear, obvious meanings requiring thought suits it as a dream state. My inner English major enjoyed that. Keep writing, there's talent there. I wonder what you'd do with real-world grit as well as abstracts. By that, I mean I want to see it, 'cause I think it'd be good; not as a criticism of "But I Don't Smoke," which is some good writing.

Let's see, what did I get out of it?

"But I don't smoke."

* Don't be afraid, do the things you want to do in life, so you don't later regret not doing them.

* Accept yourself, be you, love yourself, and find others to love.

* Fear of a new relationship.

* Not being over an old relationship, esp. a bad one.

* Wanting to do something (have sex) even though the person and situation may not be right.

* The difference between instinct (lust) and higher thought (love and common sense).

* Anger at what an ex did and wanting to get back at him.

* Being appalled at those uncivilized basic instincts, being afraid you'd do what's wrong, even if you know you wouldn't.

* Fear of not being in control of oneself and one's actions.

* Being appalled at other people's crassness.

...Alright, I think I'm revealing as much about my own insecurities as what I found in the story.

Well, what the heck, that's most of what I took away from the story.

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I would have to say that the main thing that comes over is a feeling of "denial". Not only the constant "I don't smoke", but also in how the narrator isn't involved in what happens -- he is always passive in any actions.

I would also say that there is an undercurrent of guilt going through the story. It's listed as a "recurring dream". Could that be because something happened to make the narrator feel guilty, and the constant denial is just a reflection of that?

I would've read it completely differently it wasn't for the opening sentence. Reading it as a recurring dream makes the reader look for deeper meanings -- a technique I found very, very effective, but not one that can be used very often. Congratulations!

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