He’s showing her his famous cigarette trick he practiced for years in front of the mirror and later used under the bleachers after games to impress his friends, you know the one where he curls it into his mouth on his tongue and then flips it back out between his teeth, still lit and smoking.
But she isn’t amazed.
No, look, he says. You didn’t see it. You don’t understand, and he does it again, this time turning the whole pink cavity right in her face, the butt still burning there in his mouth, the paper dry, the ash intact behind the thin blue veil of smoke that curls above his lip with a subtle twist. Then he flips it back out and bites it again with a smirk. Now you see what I mean. See, it’s still lit.
Yes, she says, truly amazed now. I see what you mean.