Telso: The Broken Puppet

Telso, he was an interesting individual. Like El Cuñado used to call him, we had nicknames on top of nicknames, his nickname was “El Titeré Descompuesto,” which means the broken puppet in Spanish. The reason El Cuñado gave him this nickname is because of the way he walked, like if you had a puppet, but was missing a few strings.

Telso was one of the old timers, but the way he moved and acted, minus his wisdom, was like a 20 year old. He was the man that the tank bosses let him get away with a lot of things and I always wondered why, but not too much to ask. But when you’re locked up for such a long time, you get to know the inmates more than what you’d like.

Come to find out why they let him get away with so much, and I’m writing about this because I was kind of trying, just for a little bit (singing Nine Inch Nails-Pig to the cops etc.), to get arrested; escape from reality. My dad’s on his death bed and I don’t know what to do.

Telso got arrested on 3 counts, and while he’s awaiting court he has to stay locked up, his bond was too high. During this time, first, his mother was very sick and dying. He was a nervous wreck, according to fellow inmates, I arrived later. This is their account…

He was crying and angry that they wouldn’t let him go. Then the inevitable happened, she passed away. He lost another screw, they say, and over here in El Paso country, if you are incarcerated and a friend or family member passes, too bad. They won’t let you out to go pay your respects.

Then all of a sudden, his dad dies from a heart attack. This did it for him, he completely lost it and went on a nervous breakdown. A very bad one.

Therefore, that’s what attributed to his weird walks and stuff. He used to go get some sort of counseling/treatment every other day for his nerves/anxiety and he knew the whole Annex staff.

The tank bosses felt horrible that he went through this so they basically gave him a pass to do what he wants to do. I never believe that they told him this, but he figured it out eventually. Sometimes he got so bad that I was like, “Oh no! He’s going to get beat up!” But he didn’t.

However, he did still had to follow the rules, which he did gladly. Didn’t want a cucaracho (nasty) tank. We were one of, if not, the cleanest tanks; so was the rumor. When you went to court and told them you were from 9-10 they were like, “Oh the Azteca tank, those guys are something else, bet they have you cleaning all day huh? That’s all they do.” I’ll go back to this another time.

Every now and then, he went a little too overboard and took way too much advantage that the tank bosses let him, basically, do what he wanted. He used to get into arguments, bad ones, that resulted into fights and that’s understandable; if you’re crammed up with 23 other individuals in one spot, you tend to get drama. But every now and then, he used to get in the tank bosses’ face. The tank bosses used to tell him, chill out. He kept at it, got told a second time; if he didn’t listen he got the 9-10 slap! I’m going to start calling it that.

The 9-10 slap, is when you mess up, but the tank bosses either like you, or they want to give you a second chance. And it’s exactly what it’s called, it’s a slap on the face. But remember, these are criminals and gang members; people who are locked up with nothing to do but work out. These slaps were brutal. They left a mark on you for a while. When I got it, yes I got the slap, it hurt for 2 days. Maybe there should be a story on just the slaps that I witnessed in there.

When Telso got the 9-10 Slap, he used to get pretty depressed and you wouldn’t see him come out the rest of the day, minus for platon (chow). But the next day, there he was walking around like the broken puppet he was. He was a funny fellow and I’d joke around with him every now and again, but he and El Cuñado didn’t get along too well, me and El Cuñado were pretty close.

There was a time that Telso and El Cuñado got into it and resulted into a fight in which El Cuñado came out as victor, kind of cause I’ll have to tell it when I publish his story.

There’s a Thanksgiving fiasco story involving him and some other guy, but that’s going to have to be another story, just keep it in mind. Actually it was more than just him and another guy…

When Telso used to get mad, maybe because of his breakdown, he didn’t care who it was that pissed him off. He yelled at their face and the Thanksgiving fiasco was very out there when he did. It escalated to an almost pod riot, but like I said, that’s another story.

The last time I saw him get the 9-10 slap, it was because he was irate with one of the tank bosses playing dominoes. The tank boss was kindly telling him to let it go, he wouldn’t, got told again. I started heading upstairs to my cell when Telso literally got in the tank boss’s face and SLAP! You had to keep walking or doing what you were doing when someone gets hit or there was a fight to avoid attention from the guards. I was like, “Oh my!”

And like I said, he went into his cell and didn’t come out till the next day, minus when we ate. The next day, I believe, he was angry at 4×4, yes that was his nickname ha.

4×4, in which will have a story on his own, was called that because he was crippled and he had to use a walker; 4×4 get it?

They were cellies and they always bickered about something, it was quite funny because they argued like a couple, about every little thing that the other did.

This day, however, 4×4 had it with Telso and “chingazos” were thrown. Like I said earlier, we’re not allowed to make notice of fights, but the story goes that 4×4 threw the first punch. Telso, however was the victor.

I was going to hold off to this info, but I can’t cause well you’ll see…

4×4 had some bruises from the altercation, and he got his leg hurt, his other one so he was forced to limp with his other leg. Are you catching a hint of where I’m going?

He was a fall risk, he was, and he wanted to have a bottom bunk on one of the cells on the bottom floors, the guards gave him a bunk on the top floors. He decided to take advantage and fake fell off the stairs so he can sue the jail. He got transferred to our pod, placed in a bottom bunk on the bottom floor. And that’s all you need to know for now so let’s continue…

After the fight, 4×4 was limping on his other leg so we had to find a way to make the guards not notice this so, we had him sit down when platon came and someone take his plate to him, guards asked, “Why can’t he get up today? Is he having a bad day?” We just said yeah.

There were only a few people that when I was there, were there before me, and stayed after, Telso was one of these guys.

Like I’ve said, I had a library that I was kind of proud of with epic books. Another guy with an epic library was Telso. To be honest, I think his’ was better; actually I thought that his and the tank boss’s cell library were the best, but I also think that all of us thought that the other’s library was the best, minus the tank boss’s cell library cause whoa man!

He was the one that tried to challenge me cause I read “too fast” and give me the longest books he had. I used to finish them and go give them to him and ask for another and he started saying, “Fucking Batman, I’m running out of material for you to read. You’re going to start having to read the shampoo bottles at this rate.”

Comments such as these made me feel good, like I’m on the right track, even though I was in jail. But like I’ve said before, I might have been a “beast” at reading, so they said, but if I was a beast Crusty was an alien out of this planet.

His favorite writer was James Patterson, but he preferred his older books, because now he cowrites, but Telso thought that he just let authors use his name in books so they could sell, and/or had ghost writers.


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