Is this thing on? You bet it is.

I scored this domain name, if I’m not mistaken, way back in 2001. My original plan was to slowly build a site that would become a vibrant community for young, talented writers and progressive thinkers, a modern-day, online version of the Algonquin Round Table or Gertrude Stein’s salon. Ideas would bounce freely back and forth, vigorous debates would take seed, revolutions would be born. I merely wanted to be the catalyst.

In the years since that night, I have clung to the domain without really even considering what I should do with it. I just didn’t want you to have it. Most of that time I was hard at work at my real job, editing two national motorcycle magazines. The rest of the time I was drunk. There was probably some overlap in there too.

But here we are at last. And by “we” I mean “me.” Actually, in that context, I would mean “I.” Yes, here I are at last. Cigarettes and Coffee is officially online, and I look forward to watching Cigs, as I suddenly like to call it, evolve into whatever it will eventually evolve into, unless I lose interest in it like I did the saxophone, watercolor painting, backyard astronomy, woodworking, fiction writing, the trumpet, ice hockey, and to a large extent, myself. But I think we both know that won’t happen.

You can look forward to many changes in the near future. For one, this piss-poor layout and design will get an upgrade. For two, I’ll be adding plenty of interesting and useful links, many of them not related to hardcore Bulgarian pornography. Thirdly … well, you should be okay with two for now. Don’t be so high-maintenance.

Some of you may be asking, “Does the world really need another blog?” And to you I say, “I can see that you are already eating shit, so I have no further advice for you, except perhaps to expire once you’ve had your fill.” As for the rest of you, dear friends, I tell you with all due humility that I still hope to achieve my original goals: to inspire, to provoke, to enlighten. In the coming months and years we will laugh together and cry together. We will start laughing, only to realize that we have nothing to laugh about, and then start crying. And vice versa. Perhaps on occasion we will just sit and stare blankly at each other and wonder if we were ever really in love at all. But then we’ll have passionless, through-the-motions sex and not talk about it for another six months.

Welcome, then, to the gasping, screaming, red-faced newborn that is Cigarettes and Coffee. Sure, it was born already addicted to crack, but we like its chances. Then again, we’re seven different kinds of high right now, so I wouldn't take our word for it.