This is a simple column by a complex
Hawaii. Known for tradewinds blowing off the Pacific, endless summer days and nights in active play without one hint of skin cancer dancing, flatten cardboard boxes and fly down my backyard hill, challenge Charla to an Olga gymnastics duel in the playground (before they outlawed seesaws and belly flops on parallel bars), a vista of mostly natural scenery as far from mauka to makai...
Sometimes I wonder if Iím still eight, Donny Osmond posters Scotch-taped to my walls, a Checkers & Pogo phonograph playing 50s 45s from my fatherís attic collection, skinned knees and jacks on Sheldonís front porch.
Bathed in sweat. Words like unseasonal and ungodly associated with heat waves earlier and earlier before the longest day of the year.
Oh right, Iím not. 1974 is ... 2003.
The East Coast got its Indian Summer three months early, the Pacific Northwest caught the tail end of a drought in the first week of June and Hawaii... Hawaiiís tradewinds have turned Kona overnight. Why, only yesterday Carterís edict had us at a pedestrian standstill. Before Karen Carpenter killed any hope.
Of course, thereís a biblical answer. There always is.
On the sixth day, God created man, and later, manís companion. He shouldíve taken a two-day breather and called me in the morning.
Eden epitomized, symbolized, sanitized the man-made version of earth today. Nature vs. nurture. Water vs. New & Improved Coca-Cola Ė in the spill-proof plastic bottles. Choir of angels vs. American Idol. Love vs. Playboy. A cool 70s 24/7 vs. Itís gonna be another hot, sweltering, humid, muggy day, folks, so get out your sunscreens, your hats and your fans.
Mankind had it good, the easy life. So good and easy, Adam and companion Eve could roam around nakedóand not think twice about modesty, menstrual cycles, MTV Spring Break in Cancun, freezing ass or burning up. But his companion Eve fell for Satanís lure, curiosity and defiance, taking back control, on equal with God, as gods.
We think we can improve on perfection. Armed with the fruit of knowledge, an abject void of context, we charge forward our way, recreating Godís nature, extending Godís life, and in some desperate cases, stalling. The bottles arenít the only things we canít recycle.
Here is where Rush Limbaugh and I part company.
Early summers, prolonged winters, are the direct result of people meddling with Mother Nature, applying mind games to existential poetry, what should be upon what is.
The pursuit for longer, more fulfilled, more exciting lives pushes the god wannabes in every man, woman and child. But all the affordable leisure, wealth thereof, contributes detrimentally to quality, substantive, meaningful.
What good is being able to drive a shiny silver Volkswagen bug to a beach 50 miles away, when there arenít any trees for shade, the waterís too polluted to swim in, the sandís littered with the remains of human infestation to walk around in, and nobody plays out in the sun anymore because theyíre all using self-tanners in their air-conditioned condo units or bathing themselves bronzed in a tanning salon in a recreation of Miamiís South Beach under glass and chrome?
Children, from babies to toddlers, must slather on lotion in the 40 SPF, many more breaking out for weeks after, before heading out for even a 30-minute stroll around the neighborhood. Well-meaning, protective (confused) parents keep their children inside, but the same newspaper articles that declared sun to be a national disaster area turn around to declare that staying indoors worse, from rickets ... by well-meaning, protective parents afraid to let their kids go out into the real world and experience life.
Weíve taken the reward out of hard work, the fun out of play, the natural in nature, by interfering with Godís evolution. As frightening the thought of falling off a branch, rotting into the earth and regenerating for the next generation, itís worse to contemplate the alternative, hanging around in an eternal static, a peach amongst transplanted cherry blossoms. Especially when you can mass-produce jams and jellies for Smuckers at $5 a pop. With Splenda.
Even Joan Rivers and Dick Clark will succumb, trust me.
All the money for all the best education in all high-priced lawyers in the Free World canít keep you from remaining, essentially, a flawed, curious, stupid, arrogant, mere mortal.
In the meantime, thanks for ruining my childhood completely.
Whatís left... CD versions of original albums that cost me only three bucks from stores in Pearl Ridge that long since disappeared in place of another anchor Macyís type, memories on the hit parade. Iím listening to Kalapana, the late Mackey Feary on vocals, Malani Bilyeu on guitar, David John Pratt and Kirk Thompson as backup, local stars who fed into my teenaged angst, conducive to walking in rubber slippers the seven blocks back home eating shave ice or Spam musubi, after another fruitless day learning nothing at Aiea High School, daydreaming of a boy like Mackey singing ďThe Hurt.Ē Sounds like something Adam wouldíve sung to Eve, actually.
Hawaii transplants will automatically harken back to surfing, plate lunches, outcasts on picnic tables right outside B building strumming their guitars, smoking pot, joking about roach killers and sometimes daring to peek into the future [Answer: They had none.]. So many lost opportunities, wasted moments, just feeling the tradewinds, lured back to the ocean to hang. Another time.
Mackey died. I canít remember of what, an overdose, a suicide in prison, something premature, just as bad as thinking one pomegranate (the proverbial apple in most circles) will cure the cozy.
Pretty soon, thatís all weíll have: Memories on CDs to trigger when we shouldíve known better.
Well now Iím up in the air
With the rain in my hair
Got nowhere to go
I could go anywhere...
Now Iím out in the cold
And Iím growing old
Standing here waiting on you
Itíll be alright, when the morning comes...
The news anchor tonight just issued another air alert. Asthma and chance of clouds, highly likely.
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