after the horns (later, after the beginning)

He felt the air cling to him as soon as he entered the room. It enveloped him, tendrils of swimming smoke, filling his mouth and nostrils. A cough grew in the base of his throat. He held it there as his eyes started to water. Behind the perfumed tobacco and sickly lamp oil lingered stale beer, rotgut gin and the foulness of the unwashed. Some eyes turned to him, none with interest. He walked to the bar, eyes red and throat raw.