Saturday, December 20, 2014


For most religious folks, the point of suffering is to find some kind of personal growth. Suffering just IS a part of life, and the religious have found a way to comfort themselves by building myths most of us live by. Nothing wrong with that.

I haven’t a single shred of religious impulse left in me. Like, not even a little. If by religious you mean supernatural or mystical or common modern conceptions of organized religion, I can pretty baldly state I am as atheist as anyone comes. Just am. I am not an evangelical atheist, so I don’t feel any compulsion to spread atheism or even advocate its adoption on a wide scale. No interest. As I’ve written before, I size people up not on their labels or cultural quirks, but I do try to find the individual within.

It’s very, very difficult to find the person’s person. Almost impossible.

She’s extremely impressionable, and she blanches at people who’re strong and confident in their opinions. She almost always adopts their views, hoping to go along the path of least resistance. The look on her face seems always to be one of friend-making, ego-easing, and a palpable fear of any kind of tension.

Her face is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

Okay, up to this point, she IS the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. It probably sucks to write that because, well, a lot of the women I used to be with read this blog. Hahahahaha. But they understand I don’t use that word without meaning it, and they also understand how relative that adjective can be when placed against the time we spent together. It doesn’t mean they’re not beautiful. No. It just means this woman is, well, MORE beautiful. Yeah.

I won’t describe her … because I don’t want anyone to know I am writing about her specifically. But, again, GODDAMN she is beautiful. I said goddam!

Circumstances placed her in my orbit. Totally random.

I leaned back in the Jeep, having some free time. A Tribe Called Quest (ATCQ) boomed, the boom-bip, and I almost fell asleep to the seductive beats.

Bink, bink, she tapped on the passenger’s window, which was slightly cracked to allow an ocean breeze.

I didn’t hear, I guess. She waited for a pause or lull in the ATCQ barrage, and tapped rapidly to get my attention. ATCQ stopped, as only she could get me to cut an ATCQ track (again, she is fucking beautiful).

I powered the window down, saying, What’s up?

We’d only spoken a few sparse times, and at that only out of necessity. Nothing substantive.

She asked to sit. Popped the door. She too needed to rest, and she asked me to continue playing whatever was bumping before she interrupted.

ATCQ resumed.

I almost fell asleep again.

She nudged me to get back to what we do, as time was up.

She got out first, waiting for me. ATCQ’s Hot Sex on a Platter thumped, filling gaps in the white noise about us. There’s a favorite part of that song I love, when a break happens half way through. It’s when Q-Tip comes in, and the drum track stops, the high hats cease hissing – kind of dramatic because the track is hypnotic. Me and Q-Tip spit, WHERE YOU AT? right around minute 1:25. It was almost involuntary on my part. I kind of yelled it.    

She jumps.


Small talk all the way back, and I take my jacket off and put it around her shoulders. It was cold.

She gives me The Smile.

Taking my jacket from her, she thanks me as we enter. No problemo.

Similar instances like these happen, and I don’t put any of it together (I am kind of slow). 

She does that investigative thing, asking people about me. They don’t know much. She begins to find herself more and more in my vicinity, and so conversations get a little deeper.

OH MY FUCKING GOD she is dumb. Like D-U-M-B. Super stupid. She has every opinion she carries simply because she refuses to think. We are exactly opposite on everything (that is not what makes her stupid). She’s Mormon (that is not what makes her stupid). She is whatever her family wants her to be. You could pretty much interchange her with any other Mormon. Same ideas. Same everything.

As we talk more, her beauty fades. An inverse relationship.

You know what I mean?

She’s UGLY. Ugly on the inside.

The same thing happened recently when I saw an updated picture of someone I once loved dearly. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, back then, and she … had … this … smile. It was MY smile. Made for me. I hadn’t seen her for a while, years really. 

During that time I learned some rather freighting things about her. And I wasn’t expecting to ever see her again. Someone showed me her profile picture as a lark. UGLY. Butt-fucking UGLY. Yuck. All I could think was, What the hell did I ever see in her!  She was all tarted up, face painted with strange shades. UGLY. Whatever was there was gone, and, I admit, it was a relief. She’d become ugly on the inside.

Maybe you don’t know what I mean.

The surface is physical, and while it does reflect what’s going-on on the inside at least a little, it is just one superficial layer. It has taken me years and years to realize what I find beautiful are character traits not body archetypes.

Both these women haven’t suffered in the sense that they’ve had to examine themselves. They’re free from the necessary tension it takes to cause personal exploration. They’re typical. They’re a carbon copy of people who’ve existed before, exist now, and will exist in the future. No difference. Interchangeable. Blank. Goofy. Duh.  

THAT is ugly.

Beautiful is loyalty. Beautiful is honesty. Beautiful is competence. Beautiful is careful, polite, and reserved. Beautiful is an individual woman who knows herself, who has been through fire and emerged a solid, thoughtful human being. Beautiful is neither of these women.

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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