knowing the breeze


Feeding the Birds, Belfast, Ireland © Jim Korpi

Seamus Murphy smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. Only, it’s not packs. He rolls his own. He prefers a specific tobacco.
Just after a meal his pouch comes out of a pocket. He removes a small filter from the bag and holds it between his lips while pulling a wrapping paper from the pouch. The paper is held with his left forefinger, middle finger and thumb to form a valley while his right hand spreads caramel colored tobacco evenly inside. The top edge of the paper is licked and both hands roll tobacco and paper into a cigarette. This all happens in one minute and 20 seconds.
Outside, the Belfast wind irons flat the conflicting British and Irish flags on their poles.
Murphy steps into the breeze. Instinctually he lifts his face to the current of air to smell it, to feel it blow across the soft hairs below his eyes, those always missed by his razor. He pauses there for a second. Then as quickly as the needle of a compass points north, Murphy turns his face away from the wind and cuffs his hand in front of his mouth for protection. His eyes and forehead are lit with a flash of orange light, smoke signals from his hands and he turns back to the breeze to take a bit of it in and then blow into it a mix of steam and smoke.
In this moment of lighting a cigarette in the wind he connects to something primal, some forgotten instinct in us all to know the breeze.

Posted February 7th, 2015 in Uncategorized. Tagged: , , .

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