Tomorrow I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. I’m buying myself cigarettes. Winston’s to be exact. The kind in that come in a plain red box with a big white label warning that “Fumar mata”.
Yes smoking does kill. Many things cause death in fact, like being born, and I’m guilty of that one, so surely I too will die some day. My death however is very unlikely to be related to smoking complications, as I do not plan on picking up the habit. Ever. I want this pack of Winston’s for myself to give to Miguel, or to have handy rather should he ever need one.
This would be the same Miguel who weeks ago I had run into at the bus stop, the guy who works at the radio. We exchanged numbers that day but he never called me about the potential prospect of me helping out at the radio. I didn’t really think much of it, since I’ve been traveling, but now I’m back, and determined to be a part of that radio.
My plan of action was simple and has proved to be effective thus far.
I didn’t wait for his phone call but instead I just went over to the radio, and walked through the open doors. I found him sitting in a little smokey room typing away on Facebook. I explained I really was interested in seeing the radio, and I proceeded to move a box of water bottles off an extra chair in the room, made myself a seat, and sat down next to him.
After a brief tour of the place, which is occupied mainly of empty rooms, we started talking about general sorts of things. I found out he’s 30 and part of a band called, ‘SIN RENCOR’ (without grudge). I saw a YouTube video from a concert they played in Sevilla. Miguel does the electric guitar. I was pretty impressed. The style of music is Andalusian rock,…think classic American rock but with a ‘flamencoesque’ flair to it. It sounded great from the crap-quality video, I’m sure to hear it live would be an experience!
I also met LouisMi, another member of the band and good friend of Miguel’s. He dropped by to do a commercial, so I heard the makings and final product. It came out professional sounding, although it was a little humorous, it was a political campaign and he had to google the guys name because he wasn’t sure what it was. Goes to show it pays to fact check.
Miguel finished up early at the studio that first night, so I accompanied him to the cafe next to the bus station and we talked a bit over some decaf until his bus came. That was last Friday. Tonight I went back to the radio for the second time. I showed up around the same time as I had before, around 7 but dressed more casual, in sneaks in a hoodie, consciously mimicking his relaxed sense of style. I’ve heard it said if you go into job interviews you should be subtle about it, but slowly start to mimic the person who is interviewing you, because they will unconsciously notice it and approve,…things like nodding, or maybe sayings like “I absolutely agree”, or hand gestures, little things like that.
In my mind the radio is my job interview, although pay and an actual position are highly unlikely aspirations. Still I want to hang around, help out a bit, and definitely observe and hopefully learn something. Plus get Miguel to write a letter before I leave using fancy professional language saying that I did all these things, should it ever aid the Communication degree I aim to finish some day.
A key to achieving all this means showing up with a smile, and coffee. Miguel likes coffee and also when I ran to the cafe and showed up with some for him. At first he fumbled in his pockets like he was going to pay me for it, I stopped him and said, “look, I’m your helper, I do these sorts of things now”. He settled back down and smiled.
This brings me to the Winston’s. I noticed immediately that he was a smoker. I’m not going to use this blog to shame smokers, but as a non smoker I can instantly detect someone who is, and whose finished a cigarette, even if it was outside, awhile ago, or they already washed their hands or brushed their teeth. The smell is strong, distinct and lingers.
I knew Miguel was a smoker because of his voice ( which actually sounds nice, and perfect for the radio ), and his small “office” has like this permanent haze, and also because I witnessed him mechanically smoke 4 cigarettes in less than 20 minutes. His smokes remain at his left side at all times, just next to the make shift ashtray of a former water bottle filled with an amber-colored liquid that has various lengths of cigarette butts bobbing up and down in it.
The plan is to buy some Winston’s and keep them around so when he runs out I can offer him one. As this has happened once before, and I was unprepared. I’ll buy them, but put them in another box ( I found a special edition of Marlboro’s in an empty drawer in my house). It would be too suspicious and coincidental if we both happened to smoke the same brand. As far as my smoking,…I’ll keep the box half empty, and tell him I smoke only on a few occasions, but like to have them around just in case.
After spending some time with him I think he is very good at what he does. Pretty much a pro. He never went to school but just learned on his own. I respect people like that. We’ve also had good conversation, although he kind of caught me out of the blue when he randomly said, “Can I ask you something?” With his question being how I felt about Capitol Punishment being used in the US. He said a high schooler asked him for a debate paper she had to write, and he didn’t have much concrete information. This made me feel better, because the last time I had concrete information concerning that was probably when I was in high school preparing debates. However, we both agree that its seems barbaric.
It’s my plan to go to visit him again on Thursday. I won’t bring coffee though. I don’t want to appear too overly eager to please. I want him to appreciate the effort, and not become accustomed to it. But I don’t think its a bad idea to remain perceptive, willing to learn and keep showing up like I have. Its been enjoyable spending time at the radio and getting to know him, in addition I think a key in life is to take advantage of opportunities, even if it means making them for yourself!