Saturday, May 2, 2015


*written in early 2011

She has NOTHING. Less than nothing, and that’s not a lot.

In circumstances I cannot fully explain, she came up to me. She saw me laboring away, sweating and trying to do the best I could under the circumstances. I was drenched. She’d been watching me work, I guess. She complimented me on the job I was doing. It was nice to hear. I’ve always taken pride in my work, and it has been a while since anyone has noticed.


Older lady, probably in her early 60s. A little on the heavy side. Dressed as though the clothes worn were given her, and most likely at a shelter or clothing donation spot, she tapped me on the shoulder when I passed her again.

Excuse me, she said with a smile, shoving a plate toward my face. You look hungry. Have some.

It was pizza, two slices, fresh from the box. Smelled GREAT. 

I almost took it. ALMOST. 

Then I paused and looked at her face. She was giving me what appeared to be the last of her food, something she could save and have for lunch the next day. I could not do it.

No, THANK YOU, I apologized. I am trying to keep my girlish figure. I can’t eat that. But thank you so much.

She smiled and shrugged, thanking me for the hard work.

Here is what I know. She is incredibly poor. She needs what little she has. EVERY time she sees me, she compliments, she offers whatever she has come upon by way of food and drink. Every time. She doesn’t know me. She has no idea of who I am, what I’ve done, and all the rest. No idea. And considering where I was at the time, it was pretty obvious I’d made a lot of mistakes in my life. 

No one would be doing what I was doing unless they were desperate.

She’s also in a desperate financial situation.

And we met through our dire predicaments. And she has the grace, the dignity, and the decency to offer me this solemn gesture.

THAT is a wonderful person.

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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