We have four weeks left here. There’s so much that we’re trying to do before we leave. The last few weeks have been invigorating. K and I want to leave something behind that we can continue to contribute to even after we leave and alot of the pieces have been falling into place, but I’ll leave that for another post.
Four weeks left. Almost 2 years behind us. We’re returning to a place that you rarely see green, you don’t wake up looking at the sky, and mochi is not in abundant supply. So while we were having lunch the other day I brought a notebook with me and we started our Hawaii wish list: all the things that I hope we get to do before we leave. Some of these things we want to do together. Some only one of us wants to do (ie skydiving (eg not me)).
1. Volcanos (Big Island)
2. Black sand beaches (Big Island)
3. Swim with dolphins in the wild (with a life vest)
5. Take a surf lesson ( I don’t swim)
9. Stay on Kauai’s North Shore
10. Old Lahaina Luau
11. Merrie Monarch
These are sort of touristy things. Hopefully more specific ideas will occur to me.
In four weeks we’re back home. I find myself trying to take stock of all kinds of things:
what we want to do before we leave here;
what our new home might look like;
what kind of job I’ll get
wish us luck!
Ken began packing today. Oh the things I’ll miss!
Around Thanksgiving was the last time I sat down and gathered my thoughts for writing a post. I’ve found, since coming to Hawaii, that very fundamental things can change over a few weeks time. K and I have grown accustomed to packing up and leaving places we love only to return three months later.
This past season has been the best for me here in Hawaii. Sometimes it hovers around one of the best times of my life in general. I think there will always be parts of NY that I can’t negotiate leaving behind. No matter how ideal the circumstances, I long for how I feel when I’m with friends eating Korean fried chicken in dark places, downing bottles of soju, and arguing about politics or tv shows. Or walking miles around the city with Kat or Eleanor for hours and hours on a weekday afternoon, coming up with unnecessary errands just for an excuse to walk and talk a little longer. I accept that I don’t have that here–and it’s totally ok because I don’t believe that I exist in both places anymore. Hawaii has won me over for the meantime. I love it here. I love being here with K.
I love K.
This year is almost a completely different Hawaii from last year. Due in large part to finding this house. Sometimes I walk up to the front door and I already anticipate missing it someday. Every time we come home my heart surges a little bit and I say to myself I love this place. Corny!
I also never anticipated how much a car would change every aspect of my life. The first day that I had it (and K was working), I was so confused. Even though I had nowhere to go, I kept thinking I had to DRIVE somewhere. I made a special trip to get gas even though I had almost a full tank. Kat explained to me that that wasn’t how it worked. That you buy gas when you’re already out doing things so as not to WASTE gas GETTING gas. These are the sorts of things I didn’t know. I wondered if it was foolish to have a whole separate car for me at all. That feeling dissipated very quickly.
And with that went the era of blogging about frogs at the front door, or giant spiders, or pictures of empty jello cups. I no longer do yoga everyday (or hula) and I haven’t written a poem since the summertime.
Which is all ok. In fact its better.
If I can find a new way to write about all of it maybe I’ll be able to explain why.
Over and out!
I read poems
and took a nap
after we had
I got irritated
if everyone else
was irritated with me
or if it was me
that was irritated with them.
I read two poems to
K about Happiness
and then I pretended to
be the fish that was
while kept alive.
We went to the mall
and checked the movies.
I bought undergarments
and we looked for a toy
for a cat that isn’t
The mall was ready for Christmas
and I heard songs about Santa Baby
and Marshmallow World.
We shoplifted things that would never sell
and that no one would buy.
a bunny for me
stickers for him.
When there was nothing else to see
we went home.
The family that owns the house we’re living in, lives on the property too. All the units connect but we hardly ever see or hear each other. Downstairs in our house is a staircase that has a little post-it note sign: Please Do Not Open.
This door leads directly into our neighbors apartment. For the first time the other night, we got to see what lies on the other side. B and C had us over for dinner with some friends and neighbors.
I love this family. There’s something so easy and warm about them. The house, in a way, is an embodiment of their spirit.
One of our neighbor’s who came to the dinner also has left a strong impression on me. She is a huge personality and exudes a joyfulness that is so magnetic. She was a firefighter for 18 years. I love her stories. I could listen to them for hours.
In the midst of a chaotic week, KL had a kickball game. I didn’t play but I had Zippy’s chili and fried chicken for the first time at the game. I now understand the appeal.
I’ve been a little depressed. Which is worth examining because life has been good: we live in a beautiful home with great neighbors; I have a car that I love driving; we’ve had the opportunity to make friends with a wide variety of lovely people; and the communities out here move me– a bubbling of ideas that make it seem like anything can happen, anything can change. The sun shines every day.
Despite this, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been distractingly blue. Sometimes thinking about Ruth. Sometimes not being able to sleep…
We just booked our tickets to go home for the holidays. It hit me so suddenly how good it will feel to be home for a little while. I’ve hardly thought about New York. It feels farther than it is.
But as November whips by, I imagine running errands on the Upper East Side. It’s dark out but it feels early. Daylight Saving has just started and I’m thinking about Christmas gifts. But there’s time, so today I won’t feel bad buying stuff for myself. I’ll text KL and ask him what we’re going to have for dinner. Maybe he’ll text me back that we should meet at Setagaya for a big bowl of steaming ramen. We’ll walk home holding hands with gloves on and shed our thick layers when we get back to our small but well-lit studio.
I miss it. I miss the cold. I miss a book. The one that has the poem. I would put it here now. Mark Wallace’s Standard Time.
As we were leaving the HIFF reception last week, my friend Sean joked that when we first met I still had alot of New York in me, and now I have alot of Kailua in me. It was a remark in passing but I found it poignant.
It feels like eons ago that we stepped off the plane to make a home here. I was still high off of my last event with MOCA. I had quit my job but believed that I could maintain my life in NY from thousands of miles away. I literally thought that if I woke up at 5AM PST to make my calls and write my emails that no one in NY would notice that I’d left. Which at the time was more important to me than figuring out how to make a life in Hawaii. When I think about myself back then I feel a little sorry for myself.
It’s been a slow process letting go…but I have. When this is over I will have lived here for a total of eighteen months over two years. It’s a funny combination of being settled, but not really.
So one day I wasn’t a driver and the next day I was. I have a rented car that we’ve affectionately dubbed Suzu (it’s a Suzuki) and can now get myself around unlike last year.
It’s been a mini earthquake in my brain to accommodate thinking about driving. It’s not easy. Especially when you’re 35 and your total driving experience prior wouldn’t amount to 24 hours.
The day after we got the car K made me drive all over the place, mainly our Meals on Wheels route so that I would be comfortable doing it alone if he was working. That first day I drove 75 miles over the course of 6 hours. It was great–liberating even.
Then came the first day that K left for work and I was going to spend most of the day alone. I dilly-dallied around the house for hours doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom, answering emails… I felt so much pressure to make good use of my day. To take the car and go do some ‘good’ with it, when all I really wanted to do was focus on my chores.
The way I felt made me realize how different my days have been when K isn’t around and that even though I wished so badly that I could get around on my own that there were parts of it that I looked forward to. Days being home for 14+ hours alone, far away from anything and anyone became almost an imposed meditation. Not that I really produced anything (aside from this blog) but I had found ways to be comforted by my routine.
That’s different now. Now there’s really nothing stopping me from being part of this place outside of the confines of our house and it being part of me. That is, if it was mobility holding me back. I guess we’ll see.
We woke up at sunrise
My Irving Rice travel mirror arrived from Bergdorf’s.
I asked K he wanted to drive to the North Shore for lunch.
He said ‘yes.’
45 minutes later, shrimp plates from Giovanni’s. I got the Lemon Butter Shrimp with a side of hot sauce.
We drove back home.
I fell asleep in the car. Ken was driving 70 mph. The sun we shining. I woke up to Boyz II Men playing on the radio. Ken said to me, ‘do you want yogurt or something?’
I danced in my seat.
I finished the yogurt before we even got home
….and it’s still only 12:30 in the afternoon.