Grace Cigar Journal Entry No. 2: The Obsession

Small Batch Cigar


It might be because I didn’t properly prepare for life as an adult, but I’ve spent a lot of time studying self-improvement. I’ve questioned what it means to be successful and how to be happy. I want to gain control over myself and live the way I want. It may also be the western mindset of success, achievement, and productivity… So much philosophy boils down to learning to manage ourselves, our actions, and our perceptions.

One of the things I love about cigars is that I have no sense of competition, and there’s no room to improve. It’s not like I wonder how I can be better at smoking. In this fast-paced world of acquisition and attainment, smoking a cigar allows us time to drop in and tune out. They can open a window to a different way of life, where we can take our time and live leisurely. And something about them makes me feel like a boss. There are no bad times when I’m puffing on a stick.

After I started smoking, I thought about how I’d like to write an essay on it and explore what had me so wrapped up. Writing is a form of meditation, and in some circumstances, cigars act as a form of meditation. Concentration on the pull and the release – the cycle of the experience. The yogis have their breathwork full of purposeful inhalation and exhalation. We cigar fucks (I mean that with the utmost respect) have our own purposeful breathwork, and just like Bill, we don’t inhale.

This is not a cheap hobby. It’s an extravagance, a luxury. We burn our money and watch it as it turns to ash and smoke. Some of us can burn more money than others. Some of us splurge when we get an $8 cigar, while others spark Duponts and only smoke prestige.

Whether we buy Boxes of Opus X’s from Bond Roberts or smoke Factory Smokes, we’re all fucking privileged. You are well off enough to indulge if you can buy a stick when many in the world don’t even have potable water.

The most frustrating part of the past year with cigars has been my batshit crazy compulsive buying. I have no problem with smoking. Sometimes, I might wonder about the health risks, but cigars are nothing compared to the other habits I’ve had. In a year, I spent around 5 thousand dollars. This wasn’t money that I had to spend, I could have paid off my credit cards first, for Christ’s sake, and it’s not like I own a home or property yet.

Myranda, my baby mama (who was pregnant at the time), found my stash in the closet of my office and let it be known that shit was out of hand. I guess I already knew that because I would hide packages if I had them shipped to the house instead of the shop like I was doing something wrong. That was the first sign I had that I had a new obsession (problem).

I couldn’t stop consuming information: what was the difference between wrapper colors, what about Maduro vs. Connecticut, and what the fuck was broadleaf? I’d be on my 45-minute drive to work, smoking with Youtube cigar videos playing on my phone. I’d be on Reddit looking at all the posts and making notes on what I would buy next. It was an onslaught of information about relative humidity and storage options. There were great-looking photos of people’s stashes and the labels, boxes, and designs.

I was living in an apartment at the time, and the car became one of the two places I smoked. I had a 45-minute commute into Portland and found out I could smoke a Robusto in about that time. If I wasn’t puffing in the car, I was at the lounge where I could talk about this newfound obsession with other people in the same boat. I wasn’t an obsessive weirdo around them… because they were too.

I filled up my first Sistema tupperdore, and soon enough, I had more cigars than I had room. I ordered another Sistema, and before long, that was full too… So I needed more Bovedda packs, but I had 69’s, and maybe I’d be better off with 65’s. I mean, something needed to change because a My Father I was so excited to try, was plugged; the smoke felt thin, and I worried I’d done something wrong. I mean, if that one was bad, were they all bad? Had I ruined my cigars?

I’d come home from work a smelly bundle of beard and smoke-filled clothes. And Myranda would ask me how many cigars I was smoking a week. She’s warmed up since and said it will be nice to have the smell around after her fathers’ gone.

Before too long, I had to Jenga my sticks into the containers. But then I saw on Reddit that there was some shop in Pennslyvania with a Fuente sample pack with three Opus X’s for $200; how the fuck could I pass that up?

I needed another Systema.

Do you know this cycle? Have you ever told yourself, “Okay, I’m good now… I have enough. I’m done for a while.” But you find out about something like the Sobremesa Brulee Blue, and you’re like, well…. Sheeit.

Now that my daughter has arrived, I’ve finally settled down. I have more cigars than I can smoke in the next year or two, but I still keep getting them, just a little more responsibly.

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