My brother-in-law presented a gift to another relative: a box of Cuban cigars. It was not clear how he obtained them. And, it was odd that this brother-in-law, a former law enforcement officer, would buy a product that is illegal to own ever since the 1962 Cuban trade embargo was enacted.
A bit later in the evening, I came across the open box and one of the cigars, half smoked in an ash tray. I’ve tried cigarettes but never cigars. My father smoked cigars. He’d smoke down in the basement of our family home while he worked on some woodworking project, or sorted stamps in his collection. When I was young, I didn’t mind. That cigar smell was associated with Dad. But as I got older and went through that stage of rejecting aspects of my parents, I started to think that the smell of cigar smoke was pretty disgusting.
But looking at the box, and the cigars inside, I could tell why they were so rare, valuable and enticing. Everything about them–the way they were wrapped and the almost sweet smell of the tobacco inside–exuded high quality.
I decided to try a puff or two. I lit the cigar in the ash tray, took a couple puffs and drew some of smoke into my lungs. There was something nice about it, I have to admit. Soothing. But two puffs was enough.
Actually, this was all I dream I had sometime after going to bed last night. There is no way this brother-in-law would ever present anyone with a box of cigars, much less cigars that are illegal to possess in this country.
But here’s the power of dreams. Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up still smelling the smoke in my nostrils and the tobacco in my mouth. I still felt the smoke in my lungs and coughed. I actually got up and went to brush my teeth again. This morning, I still remember the taste and the feeling of smoking a cigar.
Oh, I’m sure there is something very meaningful about all this. I just haven’t had a dream that packed such sensory power in a long time.
And, something new I learned this morning. You can buy and own Cuban cigars--if they were made and brought into the United States before the 1962 embargo. Aficionados prize these rare, expensive cigars, which apparently age very well, like good wine. Maybe the cigars in my dream were “real Cubans.”