Saturday, July 16, 2016

CRAIG EDWARD KELSO, The Lone Quality I Crave

I am attracted to fiercely loyal people.

Not exactly sure why that should be the case, beyond the obvious. It could be I have some deep seeded fear of abandonment from my only child upbringing – that vestigial feeling of not really trusting a person to stay in my life.

And if I for a second doubt your sincerity, I drop you. I drop you forever.

I don’t look back.


Women in my life have come and gone. I’ve been with sluts. I’ve been with professedly pious bitches. I’ve been with stupid women. I’ve had Rain Man super smart chicks. Large breasted. Itty bitty titties. Big asses. Flat assed hoes. Crazy gorgeous women to just eh in the looks department.

I value only loyalty.

It’s the lone quality I crave.

The friends I’ve had, I’ve had for years and years. My lack of promiscuity extends from the sexual sphere and into the social.

When I met Ts (the principal subject of THAT ONE WAVE), we both were working in the restaurant industry. He was a college kid, making his way through a veritable phalanx of pussy. Slaying that shit. Hard. Average in height, with a naturally slight build, he came at me with boyish charms and good humor.

I was fresh out of the state pen, on parole. My mind swam, overwhelmed at all the choices I had to make. Everything was new, brand fucking new. Going from a cage and back into society is beyond cruel. It’s beyond unnerving. It’s jarring. It’s world altering.

I wasn’t functioning well.

Ts chatted me up, as he did everyone who came within his circle. He led with that easy smile, crooked, giving away a sense of vulnerability I learned to ferret out from my time in prison. I had to size a man up, and fast. Ts I knew would be a good investment.

He had ideas. They were jumbled, mixed with a cultural socialism – but there was some THERE there. Not only could I tell he was worth my time, I also knew from years of teaching how this was a dude who needed intellectual stimulation.

He had questions.

Lots and lots of questions.

He caught me with large tomes, reading and contemplating. We spoke about every subject, sacred and profane, and Ts was also intensely curious.

The women we worked around were positively obsessed with Ts. They were forced to take a position on Ts. Was he cute? Too pretty? Too self absorbed? Dudes we worked around also had strong opinions about Ts, be he judged a cool guy or major competition.

Ts had THOSE conversations with everyone. I entertained the subject, but I was more interested in how he thought, why he thought what he thought. His conquering of the female I had long ago left to the side of my personality, on a shelf. I am still every bit a male, a flaming heterosexual who loves women, but women are a part of my life … not its central focus. For Ts, the ratio might not be that stark.

I loved his brain.

After almost three years of faithful service (I never missed a day; was not once late; never asked for a day off; never left early), the restaurant’s management thought it best to fire me.

A perennially camel-toed linebacker of a woman, who always smelled like she had just taken a gargantuan shit, and a doughy man with dreadful taste in fashion, who reeked of alcohol and as if he’d been kidnapped and dumped in a bath of cologne, formed a cabal. It was their personal mission to punish me for the sin of violating culturally schizophrenic sexual mores … half a decade ago.

Neither had the dignity to speak with me personally.

The restaurant management woman was shrill and dopey, and openly flirted with male staff. Whenever I caught her in a private moment, she always appeared as if she was thinking about something really, really stupid.

The restaurant management man fit the Oxford English Dictionary definition of a coward. When I confronted him informally, man-to-man, and asked if everything was okay, he looked me in the eyes and affirmed. Not a few weeks later, he held a prepared statement in his hand, reading it shakily out loud in what I can only assume was due to a mixture of fear and brain alcohol poisoning.    

These are not impressive people.

When shit went down, as it inevitably would, I waited for Ts to flinch. He had a lot to lose in his social circles by being associated with me. Not only didn’t he budge, he sought me out more. He made sure to call me, offering encouragement and companionship.

He’s hunky, sure. Chicks go out of their way to proclaim to the heavens how they do not find Ts attractive, and I never tire of pointing this out to him. He is quick to laugh with me. Everyone knows the truth, and women are the most perfect liars.

But more importantly, he is a good man.

More importantly still, he is my good friend.

Meet Ts through the eyes of Southern California surfing culture. THAT ONE WAVE is Ts’ line, quoted from our interview. And the real star of our webisodes is San Diego’s coast. This is our backyard.

And I mean it.  






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