The air doesn’t taste so clean anymore.
I can remember being younger and gasping for breath,
the midsummer breeze provided me with plenty,
and I swallowed pintfulls and laughed at the energy it gave
and at the thumping of my heart.
The air was a little milder then.
It was around the same time,
in my childhood
when I remember that it actually snowed for Christmas.
So I almost must have felt the cold,
but temperature does not threaten you
when you are young and your lungs are full.
Not like nowadays,
when the only reason you don't destroy your lungs with smoke
is because you've seen the hospital wards,
heard of loved ones being eaten away because of
a malignant growth,
but that still doesn’t stop you
from taking the odd toke.
It hardly seems to matter anymore,
now that we are all living in denial.
But there was a time in our lives when our lungs were important,
if you didn’t have strong ones you couldn’t keep up with your friends,
and you needed to keep fit if you wanted to be a "soldier" in the "war"
this being before boisterous childish ideals
realised the dull pointlessness
of living in a neutral country,
where you were more likely to die in a car crash,
or by smoking your lungs tar-black.
You always wondered why your mother kept telling you to start
when she could never stop.
Did she not want you to have as much fun as she was having?
Imagine how many extra holidays you could have spent together
had she saved the money instead of spending it on cigarettes
and if your sister had never been born
you could have sailed twice around the world,
gone to Disneyland twice a year
and went skiing in the alps
instead of waiting to grow up in BORING OLD IRELAND,
waiting for school to end and the rain to stop.
Imagine how many years she has wasted,
because each cigarette costs fourteen seconds of your life.
Why does she want to leave you so soon?
Like her own mother, smoking her way to an early grave.
Its funny how you were the one who kept such care of your lungs
and yet it was you who was the first to end up in hospital.
A place where you could see the germs buzzing,
waiting for you as you arrived through the door.
They're going to make you lay in bed for a whole week
and you haven’t even broken your leg.
Yet they're smiling at you now, daft bastards.
"I wonder if they'll still be smiling if I never make it out of this mess."
But you have to admit it tastes splendid.
Takes the edge off,
puts things into perspective,
helps the time pass,
and makes you look "interesting."
Nowadays it’s a lot more social anyway.
Presents you with an excellent opportunity
to strike up conversations outside of pubs.
You could meet the love of your life if one day she asks you for a light.
No one really wants to grow old anyway.
Pissing yourself in the same chair,
your brain unbalanced by the mind-numbing anti-depressants
and the oncoming surge of arthritis.