Saturday, March 1, 2014

CRAIG EDWARD KELSO, CaptainSaveaHoe&Gummy Bear

Captain Save a Hoe.

She kept passing my room’s door -- over and over again, and each time she’d peer inside for a quick second. I’d look up to match the footsteps with a face (by this time I knew it was her), and she’d look away as if she was slightly ashamed.


She was cute enough. Nothing va-va-va-voomish, but sweet. I liked the way she dressed: long, flowing skirts and collared tops. No excessive jewelry. Tasteful. Professional.

I was teaching for the Summer at a local high school. Loved the class. Finally, a group of kids who were almost ready to make intellectual leaps. That was exciting. No disciplinary problems. Plenty of laughs. Fun time. I wasn’t looking for a chick. Everything was clicking in my life: family, health, financial, professional. I was doing very, very well. Babes come and go, and, well, that’s never been a problem for me. But something about this fellow teacher peaked my curiosity.

I decided to wait for her at the door instead of remaining inside at my desk.

Like clockwork, she spun by, looking STRAIGHT AHEAD. Not even the quietest acknowledgement of my change in morning positioning! That was pretty gangsta, I’ll admit. Her spunk intrigued me, but, again, I wasn’t really in the market.

Then, one day, a student of hers came over to my room, asking to borrow a dry erase marker. I busted the girl student’s balls a little, asking for WHO?, and WHY? The girl smiled sheepishly, knowingly. Next time, I ordered, tell HER to come get it HERSELF! No dice. A couple of days later, the same event but with a different student. 

A tradition among the staffs of the respective in-session schools was to play softball after work. I could not wait, and joined quickly. Heading out to the field for an impromptu practice one afternoon, I happened by this mystery woman’s room.

Her hair spread out over her desk, and she appeared to be sleeping. I found this a hilarious sight. I couldn’t resist. Knock, knock, I rudely interrupted her siesta. Her head flung upward, and her hair flipped onto her shoulders. I hadn’t caught her from the front previously, only from the side. Her face was distinctly Asian, but just enough Spanish blood flowed through her in order to reveal a face I’d never seen before. I like different. Dunno why. I just do.

She was different looking. Her eyes were HUGE almonds, and her smile made me shake a little on the inside. Instant electricity. You gonna play? I asked, motioning with my cleats toward the field. She didn’t know about the goings-on, so I filled her in. She didn’t seem all that interested in softball or me. I then asked a couple more rudimentary, professionally-related questions, and left it at that. While subtly interrogating her, I scanned her work area. Shit was everywhere, and not in any order. This was the product of either an illogical or temporarily inexperienced mind (I would come to find out, much later, it was indeed the former). I offered a few basic pointers, and then made my way to practice.

The following week she neither walked by my door in the mornings nor pestered me with neighborly favors. Silence on her end. I was frankly too busy to notice all that much, but I did notice somewhat. I respect skittishness. That’s okay. Noooooooooo biggie.

An opportunity for chivalry was soon thrust in my lap. Another student of hers came by again, this time asking for an aspirin for her teacher. Negative, ghost rider. The student left empty handed, and I double-stepped it to the Nurse’s office. Snatched two horse-sized aspirins and a cold bottle of H20. Bee-bopped to her room. In I walked like I owned the joint, plunking down both, saying nothing, returning to my room next door.

I waited.

If she had ANY personal integrity at all, she’d come over to thank me.

She did.

She stood in the door way. The breeze brought her perfume. Nice. She almost spoke in a whisper. The thank you was heartfelt, appreciative. I asked she come in and sit a spell.

She did.

We bullshitted about the students. Nothing of any real significance happened. But she made an impression on me. She was the kind of different I didn’t know I liked. I found myself more inclined toward her, and I have never been a white dude who dug on Asian babes. Plenty of Asian babes were beyond beautiful in my experience, but, honestly, we like what we like … and Asian women were not in the cards for me. Or so I thought.

She left my room uneventfully.

Home, a friend phoned. I brought her up in the conversation. He asked her name. MY GOD! I never asked her name. What a fucking schmuck I am. I never asked.

I resolved to find her name without formally asking directly.

Staff pictures were on display in the lobby, where we signed in each day. AHA! Solid gold, bro. Found her. The letter E appeared FOUR TIMES in her first name. I loved her name. I loved the unconventional spelling. She didn’t photograph well. Bad day, perhaps? If I said her name sloppily enough, it sounded like Gummy Bear.  

Gummy Bear, watch out, I am on the prowl.

Here and there as the Summer wore on, she’d sometimes walk by the room and give me a polite nod. Other times, she’d send a student over. Students being bored gossip hounds, they began murmuring about us. I denied it all, explaining to the students how EVERY woman on campus wanted to get with me. They laughed and laughed.

A fateful posting invited the staff to an end-of-the-Summer get-together in beautiful Puerto Nuevo, Baja. What a shit hole. But, the flyer went up, and I again saw an opening. Would she go? Would she go with me? Only one way to find out.

That afternoon she showed to a softball game. She wore a HUGE t-shirt, and she looked adorable. I waved her over. We warmed up together. She threw the ball like a girl. No athletic ability whatsoever. So cute. That game I did pretty well, I remember. As we walked to the parking lot she asked personal questions. I answered (I am always an open book, and sometimes women find that off-putting, but she didn’t). We shared a laugh or two.

The next day, she came by my room. We spoke at length. I invited her to Puerto Nuevo, AND SHE ACCEPTED. Whoa. I’d drive. It was then I caught her slight speech impediment, ironic because she was teaching Communication that Summer. I was driving an Acura Integra, a car I bought off my mentor, OM, for a song. She asked if I’d be taking her in the black ACK-ER-AH. It wasn’t ER-AH, it was UR, like the sound in cure, AH.

She grew up in and around Nasty City, and so her pronunciations were at times ghetto as fuck. She could not say ChrisT, missing the hard T sound. It was always Chrissssssss, with the s sliding off into the ether. She also wasn’t able to say cotton, instead removing the final o and inserting her own i. Cot-in.

Something about the way she spoke endured her to me, and I’ve been accused all my adult life of being a kind of Captain Save-a-Hoe. I just want to take care of women, especially if they’re wounded. The more damaged they are, the more I dive in. Captain Save-a-Hoe. That’s me. She was also unable to say library. It was always LIE-BARRY. We wouldn’t be looking at a picture, but a pitcher. I used to laugh and laugh, asking if she wanted to jump in my ack-er-ah and go to the lie-barry to take a pitcher in her cot-in dress.

We made our way down south of the border, and she noted the similarities between TJ and PI. I explained how Mexico and the Philippines were both conquered by Spain, and that the PI was basically run by the Spanish from Mexico for a while. Filipinos are culturally really southeast Asian Mexicans.

SHE DID NOT LIKE THAT. She hated, HATED Mexicans. Some Filipinos share this bias for whatever reason, but her hatred was visceral. As we drove, ate, and bumped around Puerto Nuevo (I pretended to be lost so I could spend more time getting to know her), she never missed a chance to down Mexican culture. I invited her to dance to the local mariachis, narco gang corrido bandas, and the like. She gave me the poo-poo face each time. No, sir, she did not like Mexicans. At least she was honest.

I brought her back to her house.

SHE LIVED WITH HER PARENTS. Oh, fuck. I wanted to hang out with her some more that evening, taking her to the movies or whatever, getting some dinner State side. She was down for that. But she wanted to change, and could I wait? Sure. Sure. No problem. Her father answered the door, and there I stood: white dude, earring, van dyke, Dickies shorts, and black Chuck’s. He looked at me as if I was about to jump him. I thought he would piss himself any moment.  

Now, Filipino culture is a mish-mash of influences. They’ve been invaded and conquered by nearly everyone. Tribal wars. It’s STILL trying to work itself into a civil society. But there are distinct Filipino quirks. The married Filipino man is rather neutered by our standards. Good? Bad? I dunno. Judgment call, I think. He is kept in check by his wife.

Forgetting this, I firmly shook the man’s hand and tried to chat him up … if only in an attempt to relieve him. He smiled nervously, and seemed to be looking for someone. He was desperate.

Down the stairs she came, Big Momma. Gummy Bear’s maternal dictator. Big Momma was in a flowered moo-moo, and as she descended her husband disappeared. Poof! She plunked herself down on a lower step, and began petting the white cat in her lap, looking me over (up and down).  

I was grilled.

My girls are CLEAN, she insisted in a thick Tagalog accent. Clean! What are your intentions with Gummy Bear?

Remember, I’d just taken Gummy Bear to Mexico. We’d just gotten to know one another a little better. My intentions? To take her to a movie! I didn’t want to marry the babe, I just wanted to hang. Damn.

When someone tries to bully me, I usually allow them ONE PASS. That’s my rule. I’ll let you be a prick or a bitch ONCE. Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. But the second time, I will NOT let you get away with it. Nope. I’ll call you on your shit. Bullies are scourges and cancers. My life has been spent defeating them, one by one. I always win. Yep.

She got her pass. I smiled, deferring to Big Momma. My intentions were forming, I explained, and Gummy Bear is cool enough to warrant a longer date. I smiled again, satisfied with my diplomatic answer. That was Big Momma’s one and only allowance.

Big Momma seemed to have met her match, and just when she was about to probably say something more insulting (and oh she would later on), Gummy Bear flew down the stairs, jumping over Big Momma to grab my hand, pulling me out the door. Gummy Bear sensed I wouldn’t be put-off by Big Momma, and, in fact, I would pimp slap her if need be. Gummy Bear was correct-a-mundo (though I’d never use physical violence against a female; only metaphorical).  

The rest of the night was magic. Pure. Innocent. Lovely. Magic.

We went to a movie, Ghost World. Great movie. Gummy Bear tried to analyze the plot and characters, but her analysis was a bit on the weak side. I just liked that she tried. She wasn’t used to alternative media. This was her introduction, I guess.

We walked and talked, and when we crossed the street, we held hands (coincidentally enough, I often walk by the bridge we passed that very night). As we walked more, our hands stayed entwined until we reached my car. This was the speed I needed. I like slow. Gradual. Easy does it. 

 It was getting late, and I figured I had to take her home. That was soooooooooooo funny! An adult with a curfew. But I went with it, and I drove back to her place (her parents’ place).

Walked her to the door, and I said c-ya.

The last week of the session she didn’t come by at all. Nothing.

I really thought I offended her or something. But I was going to just let it go. Again, I wasn’t looking.

I cannot remember who called who, but I suspect it was her who called me. But, again, I cannot remember. I do not pursue chicks. Naw. If they’re into me, they’ll come. It’s just easier, in my experience. I never, ever want to intimidate a babe. Never. I would hate to think I put pressure on a chick, only to find out later how she didn’t want to get with me. Couldn’t live with myself. No, instead I wait for them to make the move. Yes, yes, more than a few women have commented that I might be playing games with them. I try to assure them I am not, but it usually comes across wrong. I explain to them how much respect I have for broads, and how important it is that any decision she makes she makes freely. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. Whatever.

Friends at that point were asking me all the time if I was getting laid. I would tell them that wasn’t important to me (obviously, nookie IS very important, but it’s not a prime motive for me). Guy friends would ask if I was gay. Female friends would just roll their eyes in disbelief.

I looooooooooooooooooove women. I loooooooooooooooooove banging chicks. But I have to have the ENTIRE package. I have to respect her. I have to know her. I have to see SOME kind of future (maybe not a forever future) with her. I have to believe in her innate goodness. I know, I know. Most guys just need a willing babe. Not me. I have TURNED DOWN ready-to-go snatch. Sure have. One bitch grabbed the back of my head and said, plain as day, Fuck me now! and I declined. Physiologically, I was ready for action, jackson. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, I want a complete experience. Complete. I like a good story, a strong narrative, and sensational arc. A sloppy fuck is just that, sloppy. There’s not beauty there … to me anyway.

Hey, to the slut who wanted me, I thanked her. I am not a total asshole. (And a quick note about sluts: Sluts are awesome. They’re vastly underrated in my experience. They’re givers, generous. I have no problem with sluts what-so-ever. Baby Jesus bless them. I don’t make use of them simply because they’re not inclined toward the experience I desire, that’s all. Put me down, on record, as being insanely PRO slut, wildly pro slut.)

Back to Gummy Bear. Gummy Bear was the anti-slut extraordinary. She placed her ENTIRE personal value on not being a slut or anything approaching one. This was boring, to me. I do not care how you define yourself if that definition isn’t in positive form. What you’re against is important, of course, but what are you FOR. I want to know what you believe, not what you don’t. It might not seem important to you, or maybe a minor distinction, but it IS important to ME. Plus, an anti-slut gets mightily close to being anti-sex, and, lemme tell you straight up, NO GUY WANTS A CHICK WHO DOESN’T TOTALLY FUCKING LOVE SEX. Not just like. No. The babe must LOVE it. And if she doesn’t, she needs to fake loving it.

What was I saying?

Gummy Bear was somewhat wary of me due to my candor. I never, ever lied to her. Not one time. I told her everything about me as soon as I could, as soon as she’d ask. If this was going to go anywhere, I wanted her to accept me lock, stock, and two smoking barrels. I had been married. I was divorced. I had a kid. I had exactly zero interest in her religion. I didn’t believe in race, so save the pro Filipino this and that. It’s all horseshit to me. I didn’t accept excuses for knowingly making mistakes. I wanted her to understand how I owned ALL my life, especially the shitty parts. She got about an accurate a picture as a person can have before entering into a relationship. I hid nothing.

As the weeks wore on, and we dated, she warmed to me greatly. Strangely. 

I noticed little faults that added up to huge character issues. One night I sat her down, and went through them. I told her I didn’t think her and I would ultimately work because our philosophies were so different: I had one, she lived in the clouds. I wanted to move on, and it was still early enough in our little romance that I felt I could. I could make an easy escape.

There was another babe, lurking around the corner, and she was A-FUCKING-MAZING, and we had a ton in common (at this point in my life, I would have NEVER considered cheating). I didn’t tell Gummy Bear this, of course. I was straight with her, but there wasn’t any reason to hurt her feelings personally.

She couldn’t take this modest setting out, laying out of what was true about us. It wasn’t going to work, that’s all. It’s not that I am some great guy (you know already I am probably the worst human being alive). And I now know it had little to do with her feeling FOR me. She was bat shit crazy, that’s all. Nuts. Insane. Kooky. The entire family was loony, I swear. Some genetic wires crossed and fried six Filipinos in National City, and I found the bitch who wouldn’t let go.

She threatened to kill herself if I left.

The look on her face, the intensity, can STILL bring me to near tears. In fact, I am having a little trouble typing right now because my eyes are clouding. She was absolutely possessed.

Enter Captain Save-a-Hoe. Taaaaaaaaaa Daaaaaaaaa.

I’d later find all the women in her family threatened to kill themselves at one point or another, starting with Big Momma making the declaration on a damn-near monthly basis.

IN MY FAMILY, we don’t just say it. WE DO IT. Blow our brains all over the place. Say what you want, but at least we walk the walk.

Gummy Bear’s family was all sizzle and no steak. They over-promised and under-delivered in EVERY aspect. I loathed the entire crew. They gossiped behind one another. They intentionally set out to destroy one another. They were hateful, gross people. Sickening. The stories I could tell you would make an honest person vomit.

But that look. My God, that look. I could not stand the thought of causing her such pain.

I soldiered on with her, in a relationship I couldn’t trust, in a duo I no longer believed to be of much value.

Dear reader, there is MUCH, much more to the story. It goes on, and it doesn’t end well for anyone. But that is where I will leave it. As easy as it would be to blame good old Gummy Bear for emotional hostage-taking of my life, I cannot.


If I could go back in time, I’d put hands on her shoulders and say, Well, babe, I don’t want you to kill yourself. But I am NOT going to die so that you can live. And you should really see twenty three psychologists.

That’s my message to you: DON’T DATE FILIPINOS FROM NATIONAL CITY. Just kidding.

The message, the moral, is to always be upfront, but to NEVER, ever sacrifice your own happiness for another. It might seem honorable at the moment, but, TRUST ME, what you’ll end up doing is destroying not only yourself but also the other person … to say nothing of the collateral damage.

No one should ask you to be a slave. Someone who truly loves you will only want you to choose freely to love them. No manipulation. No guilt. No recriminations. I believe completely in freedom, as you should know by now, and that comes FIRST in matters of the heart. Freedom is everything.  

And I mean it. 



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