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Smoking in Beverly Hills
By Rodger Jacobs
from Glendale,CA

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“Is there more?” she had asked. More to the story, she meant, more to the story about that night.

“Of course there’s more,” he had replied. “There’s always more.”

There is, for instance, the moment they emerge from the theater on South Dohney in Beverly Hills and he lights a cigarette. The first cigarette he has had in over ninety minutes, not that he was counting the passage of time except where being in her company was concerned. Ninety minutes. It would all be over in less than a half hour, a quick jaunt up Sunset and then over Laurel Canyon and then she would deposit him at his front door. Perhaps another week would pass before they could see each other again, before she would allow it, before her busy life would allow it.

In the parking garage she quickens her stride and walks several paces ahead of him.

“You can --” She begins to say something and pivots her head to see that he is stamping out the remains of his half-smoked cigarette on the cold concrete floor of the garage. “I was going to say you can smoke in the car if you roll the window down.”

“Oh. Too late,” he says with a soft smile. But on the drive home, after crossing the canyon, he rolls down the window and lights a cigarette, not because he wants it but because he can.

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