I’ve known Kevin since I moved to Covington back in July of 2011. I consider him a good kid despite the fact that he’s able bodied but doesn’t seem to want to work. Laziness is his big flaw.
Another flaw he has is smoking and I share this flaw with Kevin. The big difference here is that I actually pay for my smokes. Kevin doesn’t want to.
I’ve written here before how so many in Covington started to consider me their free cigarette dispenser. It got so bad; I had to take drastic steps to correct it. Now, nobody approaches me for cigarettes except for Kevin.
With Kevin, I made an exception. Sometimes he would take my trash to the curb on garbage day and when the cataracts in my eyes made it difficult for me to get out, on occasion; he would run errands for me. In return, I would give him a few cigarettes.
My cataract operations happened back in March and almost immediately, I started to see better. The eye surgeries enabled me to take my own trash out and run my own errands. Still, remembering what he had done for me, I continued to give Kevin cigarettes. It started to get out of hand.
Over the past four months; he has knocked on the door to my apartment building two or three times a day. Sometimes I would lie to him and tell him I was out of cigarettes. Other times, I simply gave in and handed a few over.
One morning two weeks ago, Kevin knocked on the apartment building door again. I went to the door and handed him two cigarettes and told him “this is it.” I told Kevin that he needs to buy his own cigarettes just like I do. I told him I can’t give them away anymore.
Since that time, on my daily walks in Covington, I see Kevin fairly often. I say hello as I pass him on the sidewalk. He looks the other way—I guess pissed that he can no longer count on me for his cigarettes.
Do I feel bad about this? Not really. I still think Kevin is a good kid, but what I’ve learned here in Covington is if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile. I don’t know if it’s the economy or the neighborhood that brings this to the surface so much here but I’m not going to let myself be used, even my people I like or have helped me in the past.
To my way of thinking, kindness shouldn’t come with a price tag. If this ever becomes the norm in our society, and that includes Covington, then we’re all in for a lot of trouble.
(From this point on, I’m thinking about not doing a photo with every post. Let me know what you think)