Saturday, March 5, 2016


Long road ahead put down by many hands. 
A trolley track near my first apartment when I was released.
Washington Street, San Diego, CA. 
Photo by author. 

Written December of 2010. 

Guru (Kelly) and Supermodelo (Myrna) are not a new fantasy duo to be revealed at Comic Con. No.

I owe so many damn people. Indebted. For life.

Two who stand out are Guru and Supermodelo.

Guru came back into my life after years of situational absence. Our lives, since we were teenagers really, crisscrossed due to mutual friends. But time stole the details for itself at some point.

Arrested. Infamy. You probably know that part of the story already.

Email in county. Letters during Reception. Letters at CVSP. She’d do seemingly anything to find me. A friendship neither of us knew we had, had returned in a big way. She wrote about mundane, profane, and sacred things. She wrote to make me laugh. She wrote to let me know I was thought about. She wrote because she … is … a … genuinely kind person.

Once released, she was one of the first people to make contact. What I love about her is that she is can-do. She gets things DONE. She doesn’t waste time. Nope. We lunched, and then she asked about housing. I half wanted to avoid the subject because it’s so depressing. SEVENTY FIVE PERCENT of the livable parcels in the county are unavailable to me. And since that number isn’t evenly distributed, finding a place to live is nearly impossible. Rather than wallow in my misery, she set about asking just the right questions in order to elicit enough information to act.

Act she did.

Calls every day. Follow up. She scoured the net, using mapping programs and sharing in my growing frustration at the lack of resources.

Without her, I would be homeless.

More than even all her work, she was keen to offer sagely advice. She concerned herself with my interior life, asking what I was doing to relax and to rehabilitate. She is an easy person to talk to, and this is the case because she’s lived life. She’s a career woman. Family woman. Educated. Hella smart. Driven. Tested. She is a badass, dude. She still texts and calls me to make sure I am okay, even though she’s incredibly busy living her own life.

It’s no exaggeration to write she’s my Guru.

Supermodelo is a former student. We were close during her time with me years and years ago, and we’d kept in touch through the years here and there.

Arrest. Internet-tards posting wildly about that which they do not know (whatever you might believe about me and my actions, YOU WERE NOT THERE). Again, you know this.

County. Reception. State. Release. She and her family followed through the entire process.     

Now in college and working in retail when she heard about my stupidity, she later told of how she was in complete disbelief and a bit indignant. No way you did it, she recalled. No way. I explained in tortured letters the circumstances and reasoning behind what I did … and within those letters was admission of guilt. Poured my soul out to her.

I thought that would be that, and she’d bail like most everyone else. Hardly. She and her family offered  MORE love, MORE support, MORE care.


Supermodelo and her family have, um, some experience with the penal system (family members have been in and out, and her mother worked for a time at the county level). They know the drill. 

She knew, for example, how inmates LIVE for letters. So she wrote. She also sent pictures, and as the name I’ve given her implies, the men offered me MONEY for her photos (prisoners are very nosey; living in such close quarters, on top of one another, it’s inevitable they see personal belongings). 

Yeah, she’s pretty (actually, all the women in her family are quite handsome). The pictures were tasteful, but I didn’t want her image spread all over the system (girlfriends’ rather intimate photo sessions are LEGEND in prison; these poor babes send pictures to their guys … only to be pawned off for shoes or a pillow), so I tore them up (also, finding a young woman’s modeling pictures in my locker would not have been, um, prudent). She also knew how packages of cosmetics and goodies would be received with joy and delight (in fairness, I tried and tried to get her to NOT spend money on me – to no avail). I still have some of the soaps and deodorants she purchased (thrift is what I do).

Once released, she and her family worked with Guru to try and find housing for their favorite felon. Supermodelo also bought me dinner the first week I was out (she, her sister, and mom were amazed at the weight I lost – her mom kept laughing at me in disbelief). I am STILL floating off the fumes of that gesture. Yep.

Without Supermodelo and her family, I’d be much poorer in spirit. Much.

So much for my lone-wolf, uber individualism. Like most of my mental constructs, MYTH. I am a creature of people much too good for me.    

And I mean it.


Craig Edward Kelso is a felon, father, husband, controversialist, living in Southern California with his adorable family.


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