Hamlet Paredes 25th Year Toro during a picnic in Dhour El Choueir

Have a Cigar: Hamlet Paredes 25th Year Toro

Name: Hamlet Paredes 25th Year Toro

Country: Nicaragua

Shape: Parejo

Size: Toro (6 1/2 inches x 52)

Strength: Medium

There’s you,
your wife,
and the dog.

The dog’s licking rocks,
chewing on branches,
and eating grass.

The wife is sipping on vodka
while tanning her shoulders.

You’re looking at her,
asking yourself, “How
can I make her the happiest person
on earth?”

You’re an average man
coming from a working-class family.
Boy, just a few years ago,
you couldn’t afford a good steak.
Surprise, surprise, yo.
You didn’t see yourself
living the life,
did you?
The nice house,
the hot wife,
and everything else that you love so much right now.
You thought, “Nah,
it’s never going to happen ’cause I’m poor.”

But you forget
your father raised a hard-working man.
Your mother put fire in your soul.

What a ride!

You were a nobody,
and you’re still a nobody,
a nobody who
likes to read, write, drink,
and smoke cigars.
Yeah, nobody knows you,
but aren’t you exactly who you want to be
right now? Aren’t you
who you weren’t meant to be?

Wake up, son!
You had a lot to drink.

There’s sun in your eyes,
sweat on your brow,
mustard on your shirt.

But it’s alright if you smile.
Smile, you son of a gun!
when you add it all up,
you’re happy.

How did you manage to be so happy?

Wake up, son!
It’s time to play with the dog.
It’s time to kiss your wife.

Chris Khatschadourian smoking a Rocky Patel Number 6 Toro

Have a Cigar: Rocky Patel Number 6 Toro

Name: Rocky Patel Number 6 Toro

Country: Honduras

Shape: Parejo

Size: Toro (6 1/2 inches x 52)

Strength: Medium

On a balcony overlooking the Port of Beirut,
you and your friend are smoking
one of the best cigars you smoked so far this year.

You’re talking politics
to pass the time.
Sunday, everyone is voting it seems,
except you.
Marx was right when he said, “Religion
is the opium of the people.”
But he forgot to add,
“Politics is the cocaine of the masses.”
Can one really be apolitical, though?
You say you’ll think about this tomorrow,
but you know you won’t.
You are incapable of
giving a shit.

“It is what it is,” you start concluding.
You look at your friend and say,
“Let’s have another glass, and then
you can drive me home.”

Time slows down
to let you paint the black night grey.
Smoke rises to kiss the moon.
The cigar burns like a dying star.

April 7, 2022: Time to become a new man again

Woke up wanting
to become a new man

The birds were singing,
mockingly tweeting
while fragments of pointless conversations
and choruses from the night before
ricocheted in my head.

Memories blown to shreds.
Everything fleeting
except regret.

Thoughts – whirlwinds
in my crumbling mind! –
were like propelled balls
in a pinball machine.

I was crying, “God…  
Was I playing
beer pong?
I was. I kept on playing
beer pong,
losing almost every game.”

The birds were singing,
“He must become a new,
new man.
The man he is now
is self-destructing.”