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Photo by Ji
Today I learned that Adriana and Ji don't like Morrissey. WTF?
Photo by Adriana
I lost the keys to our rental car somewhere inside a Long's Drugstore today, and 2.5 hours of vacation were lost in consequence. We scanned each aisle countless times, ransacked the trash bins, combed the parking lot, but these keys had something to prove. The Long's staff rallied to help us, interrupting their workday to join the hunt, and I was touched by their genuine concern.
I felt like a stereotype -- another absent-minded woman losing her keys -- and inside, I was beating myself up for it. Repeatedly, I apologized to Ji and Adriana for my fuck-up, but they responded only with reassurances. "Yes, we're stuck at a drugstore," Ji said, "but it's a drugstore in Maui and it doesn't get much better than this." I thought of boyfriends from vacations past, and wondered if they would've been so kind.
We ate fish from a cart in the parking lot and weighed our options. I was ready to call a locksmith (a $300 pricetag for new key), when an employee ran from the store, a fistful of silver flashing. The keys had been hiding among the water socks. I went back inside and thanked every employee personally. To myself, I vowed to be a better person.
Later, we took the long way to Waimoku Falls and the Seven Sacred Pools -- the West Maui Highway. The landscape here is alien, a little like land coming back to life in the decades following a wildfire. I piloted our car through the winding dirt roads, stopping occasionally to inspect the herds of grazing Maui cows, who seemed somehow more relaxed and friendly than mainland cows. "Moohalo!" we'd shout to them. The cows would only masticate and stare in response, but we could see the pineapples twinkling in their eyes. And all along this narrow road, the bluest ocean was always to our right, a constant companion crashing against the lava rocks.
"What planet is this?" one of us asked.
If you filmed landscapes like this, I think I'd enjoy your work more.
I ate the best meal of my life tonight -- our last in Maui -- at Mama's Fish House. Granted, we got incredibly stoned in the car beforehand, which proved a little embarrassing since the parking lot was valet-only. I had to relinquish our smoke-filled vehicle to an attendant who slid behind the wheel without making eye contact. Heightened senses or no, I still think it would've been the best meal ever. I'm pretty sure.
We ordered three appetizers, three entrees and three desserts. I think the waitress was a little afraid of us -- three women who ate with such abandon and gusto. Several dishes were served in coconut shells, and Adriana asked for a spoon so she could scrape out the flesh. At the meal's end, these were our only leftovers -- our plates were bare -- and so we took the coconut shavings home with us in a box. The bill was over $300 before tip, which I'm sure you find horrifying, but it was worth it.
On the ride back to our vacation rental, we listened to our favorite Maui old school radio station, and sang along to Exposé's "The Point of no Return." On the eucalyptus-lined road to Hai'ku, we stopped the car short because so many frogs were hopping into the road. Illuminated by our headlights, a single frog waited, looking up at the three of us expectantly.
"Go touch it, Ji!" Adriana squealed. Ji exited the car and walked toward the frog. As she got within striking distance, she took a step backward, paused, and then moved closer again. She reached out her hand, but then snatched it away, stepping backward. This happened several times before she turned toward us and said, "I can't! I'm scared."
"I think I can handle this," I said, rising from the passenger seat. I crouched next to the frog and stared him down, the headlights cutting through the fog around us, creating a spotlight. I was surprised by the frog's muscularity -- the little guy was ripped. Our eyes were locked as I reached out and touched his clammy back, shocked that he didn't move as my fingers grazed his skin. I turned and looked up at Adriana, still behind the steering wheel, in awe.
"Kiss him!" she shouted.
I turned back to the frog and lowered myself into plank position. As I moved my face toward him, he leapt away. Instinctively, I assumed a frog position and hopped after him. I chased him to the edge of the eucalyptus grove, but I wasn't quick enough -- he'd disappeared into the foggy woods.
I stood, balled my fists and turned my face toward the low-hanging Maui moon, howling, "Unrequited love!"
I know you haven't been too interested in traveling to Hawaii, but I think you'd like it here. So many things remind me of you.
I brought three books to Maui (two on my Kindle). This does not include my copy of Maui Revealed, which is the only one I've cracked for six days on this island. I'm carrying my journal too, but my pen only appears to sign checks. Is this living in the moment? I'm writing these postcards now, here on my blog, because stopping to write about anything that happened as it was happening felt impossible. I did buy some postcards on my last day in Maui, which I scrawled hastily on the first leg of my flight, and then mailed when I changed planes in Honolulu. I can't remember anything I wrote.
I hope you haven't found any more poop in your library. I'm still trying to figure out what I should do for Thanksgiving. It's not the same without you.