Flashback to my childhood. My mother, my sisters, and I were sitting around a fire somewhere on a relatives property.

Me: Mommy, why won’t it leave me alone?

My Mother: Because honey, Smoke Follows Beauty.

Me: What, mommy what does that mean? Who’s the beauty, what beauty? Why does the smoke go everywhere I go?

My Mother: Joey listen, I’ll tell you something that your grandmother told me when I was your age.

I always listened closely to my mother during all of these conversations. By these, I mean the opportunities to learn about the fantastic ways of the universe. Of course, my mother didn’t say things like ways of the universe, or anything even close to it.

During this particular conversation, my mom was explaining why the smoke from the fire was stalking me. She didn’t go into great detail, she kept it fairly simple.

My Mother: Smoke follows beauty. It will continue to follow you, everywhere you sit the smoke will follow you, because of who you are honey.

Me: Mom what do you mean, who am I?

My Mother: You’re special. You’re the beauty of the story.

Of course, the last thing that I wanted to be called was a beauty, what little boy does?

Over forty years later, the smoke still follows me, every time, no matter where I sit.

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