It was a cool early summer evening on June 10, 2010, when I attended my first baseball game at Target Field, the new home of the Minnesota Twins, which I attended with a buddy who knows about my smoking fetish. It was clear after our first loop around Target Field that the stadium’s smoking area was confined to one fenced-off area as opposed to about four designated smoking areas outside the Metrodome. At first I was agitated about the diminished smoking area, but when I made my first visit to the area around the third inning, my misgivings rapidly went up in smoke as I stepped outside into a sea of smokers. While my presence as a nonsmoker here was otherwise hard to justify, the area was so densely packed that I was almost able to blend into the crowd. And while I scored a few marginal sightings on that first journey to the smoking area, nothing stood out as particularly impressive. But I had every intention of visiting this little smoky paradise again.
And at the end of the 7th inning I did exactly that, heading down there to see what was shaking after dark. I could tell the area was about half as populated this time, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as it gave me a little more elbow room and more room to watch my favorites. I meandered around studying female faces and the carcinogens that flowed from them, but it was almost five minutes after I got outside that I saw my first “face of an angel”. Out stepped this 18-19ish dude with a knockout blond girlfriend behind him. She was the prettiest face I had seen all night, with a classic girl-next-door beauty and long blond hair flowing down her back and over her shoulders. I prayed that she wasn’t just coming out while he smoked, and I got my wish as she retrieved a pack of Marlboro Lights from her purse and extracted a cigarette. People were intermittently in my face, but I got to see the light-up and the first drag.
My heart melted watching this girl. She just looked so sweet, wearing a green T-shirt and a pair of tight jeans over her shapely young female form. She exuded femininity with every bodily gesture from the way she held her cigarette at her side to the way she inserted the all-white into the right corner of her mouth and took a drag, inhaling deeply and releasing the plume of smoke out of her mouth and nose as she talked with her boyfriend who was also smoking. I stuck around for about six drags, each one more beautiful than the last, and the cigarette always placed in the right corner of her mouth as she took each drag. Just imagining the contrast between her angelic outward appearance and the black lungs inside of her gave me chills.
While observing blondie, I would occasionally have my attention diverted by new arrivals, and one in particular captivated me. Wandering outside was this 21-22ish brunette cutie who seemed very self-conscious and nervous as she slid outside all by herself. It was almost as though she was afraid of what might happen to her in the crowd. Now she wasn’t the epic beauty the blond was, but the way she carried herself was in such mad contrast to the stereotype of a gregarious, fun-loving young smoker. Nonetheless, out came the pack of Parliaments from her purse. She lit up and took her first drag. Unfortunately, she gravitated to an area outside my sight range and I was still watching blondie, but I would eventually wander over and see her again. Her eyes met mine and she still had this nervous, scared look on her face, standing all by herself smoking her cigarette. It was adorable, and hot as hell when considering that she was probably the only smoker in her family/cohort of friends, yet felt the pull of her nicotine dependency so strongly that she just had to go outside and light up despite her apparent nervousness around crowds.
I got off thinking about her begging her boyfriend to go outside with her while she smoked so that she’d be safe from predators, and the boyfriend responding, “Hell no I’m not going out with all those stinky smokers”. I took one last look at her over my shoulder at her on my way back in. She continued standing there holding her cigarette, her eyes darting back and forth nervously and once again spotting me looking her over. Just imagine when this sweetheart of a girl got back to her family and friends, immersing them with her fresh tobacco stench. Needless to say, I picked the right inning to head outside a second time and check out that smoking area.