I was on my deck. I was within a few pages of being finished. I remembered there was a small portion of a cigar left in the grill. I put the book down. I felt the familiar sadness when nearing the end of a book that’s taken me.
I opened the grill cover. The cigar sat looking pathetic and slightly damp and flaked and brittle too. It was perfect. I lit the cigar and struggled to not cough as I sat down. The book was waiting.
I finished the last page with the spent cigar in my mouth and cigar smoke ranging always near my eyes. I took a pull from my beer and said cheers to Papa.
This book is now among my most treasured.
‘Now, he told himself, you must try to grow up again and face what you have to face without being irritable or hurt that someone did not understand and appreciate what you wrote.’ The Garden of Eden. Hemingway