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emily speck

on claiming to smoke in order to schedule a covid vaccination 

andrea repetz

Today, I cast my registration in honor of Marlboro. 

The single menthol I smoked while pretending I was not myself, sunburning at a music festival, grants me the authority to click continue on the Rite Aid website. That week, I drank Red Bull breakfasts, downed Dogfish Head dinners, smoked one cigarette, and now Rite Aid tells me I am doing my part. 

I claim the title smoker because once, my sister’s friend abandoned her pack of American Spirit on our backseat. I lit a lone cigarette at the exact moment my mother came home, and I choked on the excuses. I click yes that I use nicotine because an hour before prom, I panicked when I could not get my sticker-bra stuck on. I stood tits-out in our living room, crying through fake eyelashes, as I hit my sister’s vape to calm down. My dues are paid in embarrassment. Rite Aid says I qualify. 

The screen fills with blank boxes, appointments unclaimed by the local pack-a-days who risk more but fear less. I justify my signature on the breath of every unsuccessful blunt or bowl ever attempted. 

I conjure the scent of the stogie my brother once passed to me but I could not light. With pitied assistance, I learned. I bit. It lit. That was the night before Easter, the time I spilled a Corona all over my shoes. 

andrea repetz is a senior Creative Writing major, minoring in Professional & Civic Writing and Leadership, from New Cumberland, PA. She is an optimist, story-collector, and helper to others.

emily speck is a Broadcast major with a film minor from Cleona, Pennsylvania. Photography is a newfound love for her and she plans to continue pursing photography within videography and taking photographs.