day 7, finale

Part I: The Nice Morning

have i mentioned how nice hawai’ians are? they say hi when they pass me on the street, men slow their stride to let me go through automatic doors ahead of them, and store cashiers always have pleasant conversation for me (see harlem for the opposite experience). and friendly—what?! so many people talked to me today. at bus stops, in stores, on the road. the aloha spirit was in full effect. other than not being able to recall the stupid bank-assigned pin for my debit card, everything was glorious. here are some snaps and such from The Nice Morning at the ma’alaea harbor center aquarium and shops.

hello, yellow.

meet the humuhumunukunukuapua’a!

jellyfish aren’t ugly!

but sea turtles are endangered 😦

o, hai!

OH…HI.

spotted eagle ray says “nom!”

jan says “nom!”

that’s a scoop of haupia, by the way—the “glorious original coconut pudding ice cream”—and a bag of lovely cookies to share.

and finally, courtesy of the maui ocean center’s celebration of world ocean day, some little girls put on a hula show! it’s my first exposure to hula, and i’ve titled this video “Let Me See Your Tootsie Roll!”

so yeah…that was morning.

Part II: The Grave Mistake

by afternoon i was contemplating suicide on the pi’ilani highway. i had already walked a half mile from the bus stop to the art store, where the nice lady had given me a free print. (aloha!) i had started from a deficit, having jogged a couple miles yesterday morning only to later be invited for an afternoon yoga class with marisa. so my legs were already whupped, and now i was walking from the art store to the pi’ilani village shopping center. down a four lane highway. where no one else was walking. as i broiled and sweated under a merciless maui sun, i felt i had made an error in judgment. but there was a turn ahead, and it read pi’ilani something-or-other. when it turned out to be a neighborhood instead of a shopping center, i was stabbed by a little knife of fear. i was going the right way, right? and if so, why was there such a barren stretch of road still ahead of me? i looked back. i looked forward. nothing but highway. what could i do but move on?

another stretch of highway later, and i saw a turn-in. finally, right? omgz—another neighborhood! now i’m really stressing. my back is soaked with sweat. my legs hurt. there’s yet another grueling stretch of road ahead of me, and i’m not even sure if i’m heading in the right direction. this is seeming like a grave mistake. i start thinking wild thoughts, like: okay, let’s hitch a ride. your hair is long, your shorts are short—someone will stop for you! it’s not like you’ve never done it before. then reality kicks in. i did hitchhike before, in mexico, no less, but i wasn’t alone then. now i was desperately, pitifully, sweatily alone. so i trudged on, my hula cookies dissolving in the heat.

have you any idea how heart-wrenching it was when the next distant turn-in was still not the shopping center? do you know how deeply i had to dig for a fourth wind? i was close to tears by this point. i was cursing on the exhales and praying on the ins. thinking, “this can’t be happening.” and then, there was a sign:

fock. it was happening. i have the sun damage to prove it. by the time i saw the hilo hattie up ahead, i was like a lunatic driven mad in the desert. was it real? what obstacle would present itself to me next? oh, i dunno—how about a long, difficult drop to the parking lot? i had to practically scale a cliff to get there. but after all i had been through, nothing. was. going. to. stop. me. so, cookies in one hand, art print in the other, i scaled.

i didn’t think i could get any more miserable until i tried that damn debit pin number one more time. three strikes, buddy. now my ATM card has been suspended. how’s that for a nice hawaiian punch?

Part III: The Wind Down

by the time i got home, my legs were pleading for mercy. i put on my non-broken swimsuit and headed to the jacuzzi for the closest thing i was going to get to a massage. here’s where God finally threw me a bone (note: vulgar pun unintentional here): a canadian named eric* who happens to be staying in the condo below mine. he was tan, he was twenty-one, and he was hitting on me! i saw him checking me out from the pool, and then he made his move to the jacuzzi. when it’s eighty degrees out and you’re the only person in a hot tub, if a dude comes over and gets in, he’s not there for the bubbles. so yeah, eric was trying to kick it when his dad showed up. yup—his dad. eric asked me back out there for later, though. i mean, if he can get his parents’ permission, i guess. 😉

*name changed

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