Slow burn



We had friends in from out of town recently. Last year only a couple of people came to visit. This year there’s a steady march of people coming in from NY.

My friends, at our suggestion, came into Kailua one afternoon and because of a combination of unfortunate circumstances lost their wallet, iphone, license, money, and credit cards. We felt terrible for them.

They believed that they were bamboozled by locals that had the stereotypical signs of being crystal meth addicts. I have no reason to disbelieve them–they’re very reasonable, level-headed people. I’ve been thinking about it alot because it’s so different from our experience of Kailua. Would I feel the same way about this place if I hadn’t had the opportunity to slowly develop a love for it?

Their misfortune left me a little sad about Kailua but more sad that they would leave associating it with unhappy things. My friend encouraged us to get a guard dog in our new place. His wife added that we might consider a pitbull.

On the flip side we went to a dinner party the other night for a writer that was also visiting from out of town. He and his family had spent his two year sabbatical on Oahu. After his sabbatical ended they came back a couple of months later. This visit is their second vacation here in less than six months.

I asked K if he thought we would be like them after this year is done– coming back to Hawaii every few months because we miss it so much. He answered that he thought we’d probably be busy trying to establish a real home for ourselves in NY.

In the meantime, Kailua continues to be a revelation to me. I’m pretty certain that wherever we go and whatever happens to us I’ll always see this time as key in shaping my idea of home.   Despite bouncing from place to place, I feel a sense of belonging here that I haven’t felt anywhere else.


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