You were first bought for me in 1994 when I was 16 yrs old. A beautiful grey and white circular marble with Japanese writing and the letter “M” engraved on the bottom. You were a gift from my mother. Who, back then, had quit smoking for 16 yrs. She would eventually make it to 20 yrs and then due to all life’s stressors, the sudden death of her brother, a mid-life crisis, a new relationship, and falling ill herself, she took up the terrible habit of smoking again!
You were with me when we changed houses here in Toronto. And when I ventured out on my own to Windsor when I was 23 yrs old, you sat packed in my carload full of belongings as we drove all the way down the 401 highway until it ends. After 8 months in Windsor and no job prospects, I again packed up the car and we drove North on Highway 11, up to North Bay where I have family. I lived and worked up there for a while until I became unhappy. Then I had the notion of going back to Windsor. I packed up and away we went!
After a couple of years there I met and moved in with my soul-mate. We were later engaged. He had a house of his own and here I thought you would finally reside for the rest of your days.
Things didn’t work out. I took the break up hard and went back to North Bay. Then came Ottawa. This was your first time on a Greyhound Bus. All I packed was a duffle bag, with clothes, some pictures and you. In the very same year I moved you from Ottawa to Toronto to Windsor again. After another few years in Windsor we finally came back to Toronto to stay.
And here we are. Until recently I was living at my mother’s place. But now I have finally moved into my own apartment, which I am choosing not to smoke in. I must leave you behind, you can’t come with me. You are a bad influence. You make it easy for me to smoke. I’m not throwing you out, just giving you back to my mother. I couldn’t dare throw you into the garbage, we’ve been through soo much together. Take care Ashtray. I will miss you!