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Cristóbal's surprise when Maxim set a matchbox on the table out of nowhere probably showed on his face. It was just such an odd thing to suddenly pull out of your pocket; even the people that he knew who smoked all carried lighters instead of matches. Maybe Maxim was just someone with eclectic tastes like that? The way he spoke was a little old-fashioned, but Cristo had been chalking that up to the fact that English obviously wasn't his first language. Another point of empathy there, English was still hard for him sometimes, and he'd been born in the US even.

"I don't smoke, no. But if you do, you can go ahead." In truth, Cristo found smoking to be a distasteful habit, be it cigarettes or other drugs, but this was public property and all. His personal aversion to it was largely because of what it did to the body, but it wasn't his place to lecture someone on their health and habits.

Still, he couldn't help but picture those photos of diseased lungs that the anti-drug seminars they had in school loved to show. He shuddered a little bit at the thought of it. As an athlete, a part of his body getting destroyed in that way was one of his worst nightmares.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."

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Land of Milk and Honey, Don't Fail Me Now · Memories from the Past