Saturday, July 26, 2014


… and even after all my logic and my theory,
so all you ignorant niggas hear me.

Lauryn Hill, Fugees, The Score, Track 4

*On the bus, the driver unbuckled himself, arched toward me, waving his right hand maniacally, snapping fingers angrily. He yelled, Hey, I told you TWICE to move back. Now DO it! I had a choice. The cabin was packed with passengers, many of whom worked, like me, a long, long day. I could simply obey and walk toward the back. Or, I could ignore the prickish outburst. I ignored him. The gentlemen to my side, not an employee of the transit system, began lecturing me, loudly, on the virtues of cooperating with authority. I allowed the duo to shout for fifteen seconds. Yeah, I counted. At the end of fifteen, I turned my head slowly, very slowly, to the driver. Calmly, I spoke, Look, dude, I don’t respond to orders. You’re going to speak to me like a man, using please and thank you. The driver railed. He ranted. He pointed insistently in the direction I was to head. I stood, unmoved. Like a toddler, the driver huffed back down onto his seat. He placed the offending hand on his forehead in pure exasperation. PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE move to the back, sir. Thank you, he pleaded. I moved. The lady behind me began screaming at the driver about being late and for treating me rudely.

*I walk a lot. And since I walk a lot, I come upon interesting characters. It is kind of amazing how many homeless and vagrants roam areas I frequent. Something about being on the ground in an American city enables the walker to interact with people he might otherwise never. I have nothing against being homeless, being a bum, or just being a fuck up. BELIEVE ME, I know a thing or two about being a fuck up. Sure, there are people who might be down on their luck. I believe that less and less these days, and I tend to think people who’re homeless are that way out of choice. It doesn’t lessen the empathy I feel toward them, however. Procrastination is a disease. Incompetence is a cancer. I understand both. Depression is real. Again, I know these well. To the back of where I work, a homeless dude and his woman (yeah, even HE is getting laid … so there really is no excuse) set up camp. He said something folksy the first time I passed, something neighborly like, Top of the morning! I found his nonchalance hilarious, but I never responded, choosing only to smile subtly and continue on my morning constitutional. As I rounded the corner one other morning I heard violent speech, and it sounded like the dude I’d encountered mornings prior. He yelled with so much force I could hear pops of saliva escaping as he littered his tirade with fucks and shits. Crouching in their makeshift hovel was his vagabond babe, and she cowered at his anger. I’d not gotten a real look at her before. She was a copper color homeless get due to too much sun exposure. Her face was tweaker gaunt, missing back teeth – a result of sucking glass dick as it were. Deep lines struck her face, forming the texture of what I can only assume is an old catcher’s mitt. I couldn’t tell if she’d ever been pretty in her life, but I tend to believe all women are beautiful at least at some point. Her hair gathered straw-like around her head, resting in grease and dirt. She was terribly skinny, emaciated. The scene was brutal, and he was WAY too comfortable treating her this way. Something told me this is the pattern. Look, I know I am a bad guy, but LAYING HANDS ON A WOMAN MAKES YOU A PUNK, A BITCH. No matter how mad you get (and women have brought me to such angry lows that I’ve just about snapped), never, EVER hit a woman. Never even suggest hitting a woman. I know anger. I know frustration. But dominance of this sort is always and everywhere unacceptable. Completely. He saw me see him, and he noticed, as he looked me up and down, that I’d stopped. I was staring. He offered a plead to me, something about her having taken his money and the like. I stood there, folding my arms in front of my chest (mild body language for perturbed or displeased). I made sure to look down at her. His eyes followed mine, and I think for a moment he saw the scene as he imagined me seeing the scene. Her facial expression was that of a beaten dog. She could offer no thanks to me because she knew this would happen again and she knew I couldn’t really do anything of substance to ultimately help her situation. She rose, gathering the refuse of her stuff, her crap. She slid toward me, walking slowly out of his sight. The bum suddenly seemed to catch himself. A mood overtook him. Defeat. I unfolded my arms, following the bum’s babe for a couple of steps. She just wandered.    

And I mean it. 

Craig Edward Kelso is the author of Anarcho-Capitalism (2014), a primer on the philosophy of peaceful, stateless cooperation. His curriculum vitae include a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego State University, and a Post-Baccalaureate secondary education credential in both Social Science and English Language Arts. Kelso taught for nearly a decade in the American public school system, and was voted by colleagues Teacher of the Year, twice in his short tenure, earning numerous accolades from chambers of commerce, mayors, state assembly persons, governors, congresspersons, senators, and even Wal-Mart. Currently he struggles to earn an opportunity to be employed, working as a laborer, dishwasher. He is deliriously happily married to Myra Kelso, living in Southern California with their adorable children. 

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