Painted Black

by | Oct 31, 2014 | Lifestyle, Lung Disease, Uncategorized

Disclaimer: This is a fictional personification of one of the most significant killers in the world: smoke.

They move so gracefully. Expand and release. Expand and release. Their rhythmic motion was just so peaceful, so smooth. In and out. In and out. The air filled every crevice making little room for me, but it was just so relaxing to watch such a simple action—a simple breath of air—make such beautiful rhythms in the lungs. I was lucky, or rather they were; I had yet to complete my mission. The lungs were still beautiful. A bubble gum, tickle me pink color with a dash of gray peppered here and there. I did that; it was my masterpiece. Soon I would paint the whole thing. Every beautiful edge would become dark gray, almost black. But for now, I just watch the beautiful contractions of human lungs.

When they move, it is absolutely amazing how the rhythm matches whatever they need. Sometimes we bounce around together, the clean air mixes with my potent perfection. Air, smoke, air smoke—a conglomerate of confusion. It isn’t long until they release a horrific thunderous sound. The walls around me begin to quake and some of the beautiful air rushes past my deadly sides. It never takes long for them to gasp sending a gust of wind into these muscular layers around me.  Other times, there is barely any movement at all. The soft wind around me relaxes into a steady rhythm. This is when I get no back up. It’s hard for me to continue my dark art alone. After what feels like eternity, they inevitably add some fuel to the fire and a fresh batch of dark glory joins me in my mission.

I love watching the colors change: pink to soft gray, soft gray to heather gray, dark gray to black. With pride, I know I did that. I made that happen. But with the beautiful colors comes the loss of magnificent rhythm. The once perfect beat of air flow no longer fuels my day. It happens in spurts—painful spurts of gasping and wheezing. The noises are atrocious. The thunder is intense, and I am forced to endure the continual fountain of artificial air pouring around me—at least that is something. Before they got the forced air, there were times I was alone in here for minutes at a time. There was no clear air, just me and blackness. Those times were the worst. I felt so alone, thankfully I knew they would never give up sending in reinforcements. The curl of the smoke would eventually glide past their tongue leaving its pungent residue for a constant reminder of my presence, then the smoke would wrap down their throat quickly reaching me in our home base: their lungs.

Eventually I knew what would happen. I had lessons before I was ever released from my cylindrical home. Once I painted the world black, all of the rhythm would leave. I was prepared for the large final gust of hope, but I knew that after my world would go silent. While that would be the end for me, I had faith that my tar-filled brothers and sisters would continue our mission of a silent world. Every day we had the opportunity to addict one of them to our intoxicating smell and our bitter flavor, and ultimately, we would addict them to the silence of death. They know what we do to them, but they still choose us. They need us. And for that, I am grateful.


If you or a loved one is living with lung disease, your first action needs to be to quit smoking. Yes, it is hard, but you can do it. While lung disease is incurable, you do have options. If you are ready to take back your life, contact us or call the Lung Health Institute at 888-745-6697.

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