Posted by: johnhourihan | July 17, 2014

Why Hawaii 3

Just when you start to believe there is a difference between reality and a dream world this happens.
Since Lin has been out of sorts for the past few days, we have had trouble sleeping and we have been, in effect, turning night into day. My under-the-weather wife has been up late, or should I say early, because she has been coughing and feverish. Therefore, we have watched TV or read late into the early morning hours and slept until early in the late afternoon.
Night has been creeping slowly into day and crossing the barriers of normalcy.
I was determined to break the cycle by getting up early enough so as to be ready for sleep before midnight. I was determined to take back the day. I mean I live in a Pacific paradise and pretty much everywhere looks the same in the middle of the night. Hell, at 3 a.m. this place doesn’t look unlike Wisconsin.
I strategically placed the square, yellow alarm clock with the dark brown face on the near side of my night stand, about 18 inches from my head. I did not flip the small off-white button for the alarm clock to the “ON” position. I wanted to be able to see what time it was, but I didn’t want to be jolted awake by the scream of an electronic reticular formation. That particular part of the brain that wakes us every morning could damn well do its own job for a change.
If I dreamt, I don’t remember it, then slowly the light filtered around the sides of the room-darkening shades that block the world from our studio apartment and thwart prying eyes and errant high-flying moths.
I peered at the clock though, probably, my left eye since the right one doesn’t work very well any more and there was the reality of failure.
“Damn,” I thought, 1:30. I had failed to get up early as I had wanted. I knew it had to be a.m. Because we hadn’t even gotten to bed before 3 a.m.
I nearly leapt from bed, pulled on my blue shorts and white pull-over shirt and started the coffee.
Lin asked what time it was, and in defeat I mumbled, “one thirty or so. We did it again.”
She got up and came to the kitchen area in a drowsy gesture of support. The kitchen is separated from the bedroom by approximately 10 feet of space with a chest-level room divider/bar.
She hugged me and looked at the stove clock.
“It’s 8 o’clock,” she said.
I looked accusingly at the clock on the bed stand.
It was upside down. I had awoken somewhere around 7:35 a.m. which read as somewhere around 1:25.
I threw open the day-killing curtains and there was a rainbow from one side of the window to the other, spanning our own piece of the Pacific. The streets were wet with morning rain, and multi-colored dots were lined up on the sidewalk at the Ala Moana/Discovery Bay bus stop.
Just when you begin to believe reality is a concrete thing, something like this happens and show us how tentative it all is. And as I watched the rainbow end reach out toward a small sailboat in the harbor, I realized that if, when I was in high school, I was right here, where I am right now, I would be floating about a hundred or so feet above the roof of the building that was here in the middle 1960s, and those of the people below who saw me wouldn’t believe their eyes.




  1. I always thought that reality wasn’t really real. I’m glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who floated in high school.

    • I believe you learned to float by watching me.

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