I remember the evening we first met in 2002. Your parents were trying to save their marriage on a weekend trip in Chicago. It was getting dark, and you and your soccer pals were tired of playing PS2. You walked into the kitchen and delicately pulled me out of the cookie jar where your dear mother, Sandra, stashed me away from the prying eyes of your dad.

She never baked a damn cookie her whole life.

Ah, but I digress! Your hands, slick with sweat from gripping your video game controller too tightly, gently caressed me as you showed me to your friends with a nervous tremble in your pubescent voice. Justin—I’ve never liked him by the way—whined about cancer and went home. Solemnly, you and Kevin took turns having your way with me.

It was awkward, it was smelly, Kevin may have cried, but you and I were inseparable ever since.

That is, until December 25th, 2017 at 10:16 a.m. Jim, your judgmental father, watched with greedy eyes as you opened a slim Christmas box. As you pulled out what looked like a disappointingly small vibrator, Homewrecker Jim gleefully shot daggers into my figurative heart with his giant mouth.

“It’s a vape pen, Davey! Now you can finally quit that dreadful cigarette habit!” Your hands started exploring vape’s cold, metallic, unyielding body as they once explored mine.

Helplessly, I could only look on as you took a drag out of the vape. Or at least, you tried. Nothing happened, and Jim had to point out vape’s little “on” switch.

A robot. David, my beloved, you’ve left me for a robot.

I remember NBC running a segment on sexbots last summer but never thought you would actually replace me with one. The Marlboro Man is turning in his grave. I held onto hope all through January that you would return to me, to my warmth. It would seem, however, that this is one New Year’s resolution you’re intent on keeping. Remember when your 2006 resolution was never ever talking to Jim again after he married his CrossFit instructor? You should have stuck that one out.

Not all relationships work out, I get it. Sometimes even 15-year relationships don’t work out. It’s just the world we live in. But let me ask you this, David.

Is she better than me?

Okay, yes. I cause lung cancer occasionally, but you’ve known that from the beginning. You told me it never bothered you, hell you said it excited you! Until vape came along. Who knows what kinds of skeletons and sickness she has in her closet? The FDA sure doesn't.

We grew together. We have history. Does vape know that you used to slobber too much in your tween years? I never minded. In fact, I thought it was endearing. Your saliva soaked into the very fibers of the white paper that encased me. We were one. The only thing vape can become ingrained with is rust. I’m sure that’s great for your oral health.

Our passions were intimate. From the start, we made love privately and usually outdoors. You would steal away from anyone and anything to be alone with me for a few minutes. Dinner at grandma'?. You need to stretch your legs. Walking to your car after you bombed that Physics exam? Smoke that stress away with me. Late-night drives down 470? Put the top down, baby, I'm here. Grandma’s funeral? You need to stretch your legs.

You’ve sure switched gears, and frankly, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

You and vape seem to think it’s O.K. to just get it on wherever, whenever. Puffing away in your cubicle? I bet your coworkers think you look so cool. Gotta get your fix in during church? Maybe instead of cotton-candy, you should get the incense flavor. Vaping in the car when you pick your niece and nephew up from school? Way to set an example and start ‘em young, Uncle Dave!

But I get it.

She does have the whole aesthetic thing going for her. After all, who could forget that scene where James Dean vapes, and it’s so cool, and—oh wait right that was me, cigarette.

Gone are the days of the cinematic scenes of a slim cigarette perched between slender, bored fingers. No more do you need to start a fire to consume tobacco.

You’re a millennial with needs. If it can’t be charged, it can’t be used. If it doesn’t have customizable options, then it doesn’t get you. If you can’t use Amazon Prime to purchase it, then how is a drone going to deliver it? No, the times have changed, and our time has come to end.

Just don’t go for that slut Juul. She’s way too young for you.

Yours forever,

Cigarette

P.S. Seriously, I’m yours forever. I gave you COPD. Fuck you, David.


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