Last night I went to bed early, falling asleep under a book with candles poised above my head, ready to leap and burn it all down. (Theatrical, I know.) Earlier in the evening, I had "started" smoking, in the kitchen, dark, save for a lit candle. Where I never allowed my husband to smoke, I sat and sucked on four cigarettes from an ancient pack of Benson and Hedges some punter had bought on their sun holiday (labels in Spanish, stamped Canarias) and left behind in the bar. My mind was empty for the first time that evening, not even tasting the glass of wine I eventually poured down the sink. Although an inveterate ne'er-do-well, I am terrible at self-destruction--I can't inhale. But I can see why people like cigarettes: I am reminded that my body is mine, after all, to indulge and poison. This morning I smoked another one, while watching the birds return, one by one, to my refilled larder, dangled above the daffodils. Although no apologies were uttered, we're at some peace, splitting a danish and drinking tea and making plans.