I stopped for a moment, took out my cigar case and removed a corona-sized Dominican cigar given to me by a friend. I cut it, then lit it with my Extend torch (always be prepared, right?) and started walking down Lexington Avenue.
The morning cigar is often my favorite smoke of the day. The palate is fresh, and things typically taste different early in the morning. The cigar tasted stronger than it usually does, especially at first, and it had just a touch of harshness that I seldom remember. (I'm not going to name the cigar, as I would never rate a cigar this way: being outside and walking is hardly scientific, and there’s no way to fully concentrate on the smoke.) But about four blocks into the walk, it had settled down into the hearty, woody flavor I typically associate with this cigar.
It was a completely different walk. Instead of feeling rushed, I felt relaxed. Instead of watching the lights, I was watching my fellow commuters, looking at the shop signs, and noticing a few details I otherwise would have missed.
No one gave me the evil eye for smoking, and it’s a sad comment on today’s world that I would even consider that as a possibility. (There was one raised eyebrow outside Grand Central Station when I removed my oversized Donatus guillotine cutter from my pocket, but that thing draws a stare in cigar bars, so I suppose that was to be expected.) I tried to avoid blowing smoke in anyone’s face, and no one seemed to object to my cigar.
I didn’t have time to smoke all of it, but I smoked enough to put a smile on my face. And I arrived at my office at just about the same time I normally would had I not been puffing away.
All in all, it was a good way to start the day.