Posted by: johnhourihan | July 15, 2014

Why Hawaii

I woke to my favorite weather, 88 and sunny, as it has been every day since we touched down at the Honolulu Airport about a month ago. Lin was still in bed with a cold so I quietly got dressed, wrote a note and slipped out just as she was waking.
“Going to the market. Be back soon. It’s 12:38.”
I pay attention now to things that seem out of the ordinary. Even the short walk to the Food Pantry, I thought, could give me an answer to why I’m here.
It didn’t seem to. I met no one on my way, and nothing seemed all that familiar. I picked up some oranges and cough drops and headed back. The three cash registers near the door reminded me of the small markets back in Massachusetts in the 50s.
We had been shown a short cut to the store by a long-time resident in a motorized cart a few days earlier. He told us bad jokes all the way to the alley where a chain blocked the cars from cutting through. He had moved here from Montreal in 94, I wonder if that means something.
“Why are the trees all crooked?” he asked and twisted his neck backwards so he could see us.
I looked up at the palm trees. I had never noticed that they were all leaning pretty much whatever way the wind had been blowing them the most. He waited an appropriate amount of time and then said, “They were planted by the government.”
As I started back to the condo, I crossed the empty street and entered the wide stone-lined alleyway.
I didn’t see him there at first, he must have been behind his car, but suddenly a middle-aged man with a long black ponytail and a green rag in his hand stepped almost into my path. I assessed him quickly. His white shirt with a blue and gold security patch told me I probably didn’t need to worry.
“Hot day” he said too loudly with a smile.
“It’s beautiful,” I returned.
“It sure is, look at that sky,” The sky was a perfect blue “Have a wonderful day,” he almost shouted through his broad smile.
“You too,” I said and kept walking. I assumed he was washing his car, but for all I know he may have been stealing it – in a very jovial way.
It seemed there was nothing important happening that could tell me why my wife and I had been drawn to drop everything, sell our car and come here, why some things seem so familiar to me.
My brother Neil says there must be something I was supposed to do or that I wanted to do ‘the last time’ I was here. He knows I was never here in this life, but it is the best answer I have so far.
The day is still perfect, so I guess I’ll just pay attention to what is happening. Maybe there will be an answer.



  1. I forgot to mention last time, I’m sure you were doing the chasing. Maybe you rushed right by it. The reason is between those two doors. That’s my guess. Don’t rush it.

    • Check out the view from each window!

  2. Sounds like the beginning of an excellent dramatic tv series. Follow up on
    Neil’s suggestions. Let us know what you see.

  3. When I was in Kuai there were Chinese in straw hats up to their ankles in rice patties. In northern Oahu I took a ride up a river, ( that I named the “Mekong”), in an old boat in muddy water that led to a jungle tourist site. It was so humid my camera shutter got stuck. I decided to get a Pepsi on the “Japanese people’s boat” and got unwelcoming glaring stares;( I am not Japanese.)

    Chinese in rice patties, “Mekong,” high humidity, unhospitable Asians…. I was never in Viet Nam but I graduated from high school in ’68.

    Closure? Circles? DeJavu?

    But what do I know…I can’t even spell!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: