I had had a number of impressive youthful sightings in my elementary and junior high years, but it wasn’t until the day after Thanksgiving 1990 when it was abundantly clear there was no turning back for me. A shuttle bus from my hometown transported a bunch of us rural rednecks, including my mom, grandmother, an aunt, a cousin, and a 13-year-old Mark to downtown Minneapolis for holiday shopping. The whole biggest-shopping-day-of-the-year affair was somewhat in play back in 1990, but not nearly to the extent it is now.
Nonetheless, this day would be a fetish bonanza for me in a couple of different ways. Right away in the morning, I was in line for food at the city center mall and happened to look over my shoulder to see a really cute 16-ish African-American girl sitting in the mall’s food court smoking an all-white cigarette, a nice appetizer for a delicious main course I’d be feasting upon at the day’s end.
A few hours later, my mom and I were walking down the crowded downtown streets to visit another store when we bumped into a group of animal-rights activists, and my mom was handed a piece of propaganda by a 19-ish long-haired brunette goddess draped head to toe in leather…leather beret….leather jacket…leather mini-skirt…and leather boots. My leather fetish was pretty much born that day, and apparently with no sense of irony at all, the cutie passionately exclaimed to my mom, “Please don’t wear fur coats!” as she handed her the brochure.
But it was at the end of the day, while waiting on the busiest street corner in Minneapolis for our shuttle bus to pick us up, that I scored the first rock-star sighting of my life in its entirety. Amidst the crowd, I happened to look inside the entryway of the Dayton’s department store to find three teenage girls smoking freshly lit cigarettes. Two of them appeared to be about 16 or 17 and a bit edgy for my taste, but the little one was almost assuredly my age (13), probably the kid sister of one or both of the older girls, and was absolutely beautiful, with a long mane of light brown hair running down her back, reminding me of my junior high crush Krissy right when my crush on Krissy was at its peak.
I wasn’t an expert on smoker technique back then, but I was able to glance over my shoulder and watch this seventh grade cutie’s every drag, and it was clear that smoking wasn’t a brand new enterprise for her. I’m almost certain I was spotted as I couldn’t resist leering over my shoulder to watch her smoke this cigarette puff by puff, and eventually dropping it to the floor (and keep in mind this was in the entryway to Dayton’s) and crushing it out under her shoe. The girls were standing inside another five minutes or so, and I kept hoping my little beauty queen would fire up another one but she and the older girls departed, walking no more than 10 feet in front of me and allowing me a closeup glance at just how hot she was, and sadly disappearing in the urban foot traffic. Our bus arrived shortly arrived, but even though I parted ways from this girl and the big city in which she resided, her public display of tobacco consumption was one of the most formative moments of a blossoming smoking fetish.