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On a sunny afternoon, I was sitting on the terrace of my favourite cafe close to home. I enjoyed the shade of some trees and the aroma of espresso coffee while I smoked a cigar and read Papyrus by Irene Vallejo. Suddenly, a street beggar approached me, politely asking me for a cigar. He asked so humbly that for a moment I didn’t understand what he wanted, but a gesture from him made me understand that he also wanted to smoke. Luckily, I had several cigars and I offered him one.
The beggar’s face lit up with a mixture of joy and gratitude when he received the cigar. Seeing the happiness on his face made me feel good, and I also offered to light his cigar with my lighter and he kindly accepted with a smile, bowing his head.
His rough hands shielded the flame of my lighter from the wind, and for an instant, they touched mine. As soon as I lit the cigar, he turned to me and thanked me, his voice full of sincerity. He told me that he hadn’t smoked a cigar in years and that this was a great present for him. I invited him to sit with me at the table. We sat quietly enjoying the moment and the pleasant smoke that filled the air around us.
When I got up to leave, the man also got up and thanked me again. I could see the appreciation in his eyes, and he touched my heart. It was my cigar’s smoke that attracted him to me, and the kindness in the communion made our evening brighter, with no more than a fleeting touch of hands enveloped by the smoke.