Vampire Cigarettes

Published March 20, 2014 by Sandee


There was this pretty girl who starred in a vampire movie that we made in our high school film class. I was in that film too, sort of. I was the clapboard girl, the take one/take two person. Usually these people aren’t on screen, but the joke was on me. I learned later in a big way how much of a cow I look like when I chew gum.

The day the vampire movie screened in the school’s auditorium, I discovered that they had included me in the footage. My huge face took over the screen while I clapped that board, fiercely chewing, blasé as hell. The audience was hysterical. It was comic relief in intervals throughout the film. I guess the teacher thought it would be funny to include it. Yah, thanks pal!

Back then I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day – I smoked, chewed gum, suffered angst…  I bummed cigarettes from the vampire star of that movie sometimes. “How much do you smoke,” I asked her. “Two packs,” she said. “Two packs?!” A pack was too much, but two packs seemed over the top, especially for someone so young. We were 16, 17 years old. I had an uncle who smoked a carton a day, but he was much older and had mental illness. It probably gave him some kind of relief. At my exclamation, the girl explained that it was because she gave most of her cigarettes away.


That sticks with me to this day because it was so generous of her. Maybe that’s why she was the star of the film and I was just the cow chewing gum clapping the board. There were other kids I had grown up with who were generous, thoughtfully buying x-mas gifts for friends, nicely wrapped bottles of perfume, gift bags with trinkets of jewelry in them.

I admired this behavior. But gifts, for other kids? Not me. I probably did buy gifts for friends but only because I felt pressured. These other kids seemed to be doing it freely.

My spirit has shifted, I’m pleased to say. And I realize that giving isn’t just about material things, it’s about giving time, effort, presence. It takes me out of myself, especially when I get too self-centered. I don’t force give though – ha! It has to be organic.

I learn so much from others on this issue – the people who have helped me. I have a few great examples of friends who give thoughtful gifts and help other people, and there’s my aunt, an amazing woman with boundless energy that she uses to volunteer at organizations. My aunt doesn’t go around bragging about it either.

Yeah so, I need to erase some of that bad karma I created when I was younger. Anything I can help anybody with? – No, never mind, seems I’m not available — hahaha!

25 comments on “Vampire Cigarettes

  • I got a mental pic of you chomping on that gum lol. Hey, those kids back then just “gave” because it gave them some social status. Many good deeds, unfortunately, are given for the wrong reasons and not from the heart. I have never been one of those people who buys everyone and their brother a little gift either Sandee. But when I do something giving and generous, I always want to make sure that it is from my heart like your aunt. I just never can afford it lol.

  • Glad for this post, Sandee. The heart changes over time. You are generous of spirit as far as I have experienced you–you have become thoughtful if you weren’t before–it was brewing inside of you. Life is long enough to learn these things, right…but that’s too heavy. I’ll keep imagining the funny parts from your high school movie.

    xo, Katherine

    • Oh Katherine and I was indeed funny in that movie — hahaha!! I had you in my prayers this morning, or shall I say this afternoon — I went to bed at 6am so I just got up! I start my work after hiatus on 4/9 so I’ll have to figure out a way to get back to sleeping normally.

  • This pic is BADASS! I wish you had the footage….. Two packs a day?! You know that was a while ago….do you know how much cigs costs?! No kid today could afford two packs. Reminds me of the time I asked some random in Sydney for a fag (cig) and he said no. HA!

    • Hahahaha! Thank you! I was hardly badass though. Back then the cigarettes were under a dollar I think. You are right about kids today not being able to afford them — $12 a pack in some places!! My sister did that to somebody — the girl could see the cigarettes in her pocket and she told her no. If I smoked these days I wouldn’t give anyone even a half a cigarette with the cost of a fag today — hahahahahaha!

  • So Sandee, you quit smoking since then I hope!? I used to be such a thoughtful young woman when I was a teenager, I don’t like forced giving either, (Like at Christmas). Where I feel I have to give even though I can’t afford it anymore. I even got outvoted when I suggested we stop giving those little gift bags to each other Christmas Eve. (I’m the only one on a tight budget who can’t afford it) They don’t care! I just resent the whole thing. Lets just have a nice meal and let the children open small gifts their parents buy them on Christmas Eve. I resent looking like the bad guy because I don’t want to join in.

    • That really sucks when people expect everyone to buy something. I can see how you could come to resent it. If I had money, every year around x-mas I would get out of town and go to the Caribbean.

  • I’m sure you do plenty in your own way. As I recall, there was an elderly woman in your building you helped, even though she was a sourpuss. (Or was that from one of your short stories? Can’t remember. 🙂 )

    • Oh that was a funny clip indeed — wish I had the footage — it was in the seventies ~sigh~

      Thanks for the compliment about my hair, however that’s an old picture up there from about 20 years ago when I smoked — and my gravatar is actually from recently, the x-mas before last, but my hair’s actually straightened now and almost to my shoulders — oh I’ll be going back to the afro before long though!

  • What you put out into the world will come back unto you . . . at least that’s how I understand karma. But I think people between the ages of 9 and 25 should be a little exempt. Hormones make your brain sort of goofy, and you don’t really level out until your mid 20s. so I don’t think the universe will hold your adolescence against you.

  • Giving always make me feel better, Sandee. I don’t like when I feel forced to give either. I ask myself in this case, is it better to give then or just forget it? When I forget I, I feel bad, so am I giving out of guilt? If I do give and it’s insincere, then I’m stuck with feeling like it wasn’t genuine. I guess it’s no win/no win, except that maybe the gift’s recipient will be happy!

  • As I get older I appreciate being genuine. I think if your heart’s in the right place, you know when and how to act in a way that fits. I suppose it’s a win situation if the recipient is happy. Hey I always say we’re all on this planet trying to find our way, learning as we go.

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