Johnny and I smoke cigarettes in the trenches. Joe doesn’t smoke but shares his rations. That way he won’t be the unlucky third. I heard Nazi boys aren’t allowed cigs. They think it’s bad for their health.
Knowing Dad kicked the habit after the war makes me feel less guilty about lighting up. This jungle blurs definitions of “friend” and “foe.” As chances of making it home alive narrow, I’ve become increasingly comfortable in the company of nicotine.
I light up, take a drag, insist on finishing before leaving base. Jamie teases me for picking up the habit in Iraq. I figure there’ll be time to quit later. It’s a family thing. The roadside bomb dictates otherwise.