Data Dumping
3 min readMay 21, 2020

It has been an interesting two days in my corner of the world. Amidst all this self-quarantine, I decided to move. It was compounding from a lot of things:

The love of my life being deferred
COVID19 spreading to every place I planned on visiting
Moving into my father’s place sans a paycheck
Having my high school friend lose his mother to COVID
Have my best friend experience another during sex rape

And smoking.

Glory the smoking. As a practitioner of the Orisha/Pagan/Wicca sect, it is needful to use smoke as a cleansing of the space and self. Well, in the practice of the indigenous peoples, tobacco is the peace pipe offering between two peoples that need to negotiate moving amongst their territories. And for me, it has been a sign to move on.

My first girlfriend was a smoker. She claimed to be reformed as my standards to date anyone were, among other things, to be a non-smoker. And that seems like an easy enough request. Smoking is hazardous to the singer’s lungs. Granted, there are some singers that owe their careers to smoking but in my vocal range, this is not ideal. Yet she smoked late into the relationship claiming stress and its relief. I accepted it. It was a mistake. One of many. It took a negative balance in my account and creditors calling to have me cease all communication with her.

My mother started smoking when my father moved out. For her small income, the house was too much for her to handle. But she continued to hold on to it as it fell apart, her children were flunking out of school and her source of income dried up. That house was eventually foreclosed she continued to hold on to the idea that if she could get my father back, she would get her life back.

That is a dream still in her mind.

My last girlfriend lied about being a nonsmoker like the first one and in the moments of her, I realized that I was the problem. I should not be dating when I was not going to fall in love/lust/infatuation with them. And that is the hope of many people playing the dating game, a blinding lust in the welcoming stage.

Living with my father was a death sentence. I knew it would be as I entered it in as I was broke from every attempt to secure employment and needed a “free” place to stay. That stay ended up longer than I had planned. In the shock of staying longer, I kept certain things packed. Add to the simple fact that COVID is an air-born pathogen partnered with the other places I would want to rest my head swarming with under-aged children, I was a kept housekeeper in his space. And it did not cost him anything but my sanity.

The smoke that is my father is this- he is nice with an audience. When other people are around, he is a jovial friend. Outside of the pleasure of other people’s company and eyes, he is a deep abyss of darkness. He craves the light and pleasure of other people but like Picasso, he is a vampire sucking the life out of people around him. And as his position of authority and unwillingness to evolve from being in a position of power in his former career and being a daddy to a teen, he is stuck in a world of his own creation that he refuses to crack on his own.

But I can count how many monetary gifts he has “given” around me while my own financial life was hanging on buy the scrape of my fingernails.