April 16th, 2005

Only 45

The fingers of [name to come], a man from the Dominican Republic who started as boy and has been rolling tobacco leaf for 35 years. By now he has eliminated all unnecessary effort. Every single motion serves a purpose in the assembly and shaping of this cigar. Two weeks from now it may well be among the ones smoked in our lounge.

People on the street stop, and for a while watch him through the window, then move on. Some come into the store, and ask him where he’s from and how long he’s been doing this.

When he tells them, they all say the same thing: “You don’t look that old!”

He nods. “I began when I was ten, and so that makes me what?”

“Forty-five?” they reply.

“Right. Only 45.”