24 January 2016
A tragedy that occurred the day we left. The gypsy called me twisted for telling her I had an airtight alibi. The nerve...
Now, the shit gets real...
I am seventy miles and ten days from home. Within the next day, the miles will increase, but the time will decrease in strange temporal ways before the wake up. Small comfort.
For ten years I lived in a big city. Most of it in the shadow of the monoliths of downtown. As we first entered into those borders of neon, I wondered how all these people do it. How I did it.
I cannot see stars. The air stinks of exhaust and sewage and thousands of millions of bodies both unwashed and overly perfumed. When I was younger and more foolish and wanting to escape the badlands of eastern Colorado, this held promise and adventure and yet unnamed treasure. Having left that all behind so many years ago now, this is a form of perdition that would make Dante and Milton cross their legs and blush.
I do find myself grateful we left when it was dark. The stars shone with dazzling brilliance, but the mountains were shrouded in new moon shadow. I think my ire would be worse having watched familiar peaks recede in the distance. An upside is we will be returning home during the day and that first glance of the Roof of the World coming out of the greater metroplex is is cathartic to someone like me.
So, I am trying to focus on the journey ahead instead of what I feel I've been forced to leave behind. The mantra of ever forward can be difficult when having left a Kashmir. I keep reminding myself I'll be back soon enough, but part of me-a very large part-is aching for the peaks and rocks and the adventures contained therein.
Yet, I am starting upon a grand adventure, so I should just let go and let the good times roll...
I have spent four hours of layover and didn't meet any gentle people. There was only one cat with flowers in his hair, and I'm guessing he was coming back from where we're going. I'm kind of disappointed. The old song lied-lied!-to me.
A belly full of Japanese and a beer from the same place. A reward for surviving the first leg of the journey. Because of the airline overbooking we lucked into catching a later flight and missing our first layover. However, neither of us are too keen on this flying thing. The air over Colorado is always turbulent apparently, which was less than thrilling. These vehicles do not seem to be made for someone with my measurements. I get cramped and crushed for hours on end.
The next leg is five hours and change, which I think borders upon grotesque. Then a two hour drive to where we're staying. In the last twenty-four hours I've slept somewhere between forty-five minutes and an hour. Here and now, I am too wound up to increase that period of rest.
It was something to see the Pacific rolling and roiling against the California coast from the air. We were already high enough that the city we left had been reduced to toy-scale miniature, and yet the ocean is still massive. The largest body of water on the planet. Somewhere out there is Challenger Deep, the lowest spot in the world.
And we get to fly over this body of water...
For the most part, we've been either over or through clouds, chasing a setting sun. I watched the twilight dapple light and shadow upon the shifting forms of the clouds. Occasionally, I see breaks down into the ocean, It occurs to me this leg of the journey is a study in air and water, both as liquid and vapor. It is a void in which time will fall back three hours from home.
More by exhaustion than relaxation, we manage to catch a couple of catnaps. Mine have been shorter, I notice. I have no idea the distance we've crossed. Time is nigh on impossible to figure in the void. We will be touching down on what is arguably called the most isolated island in the world and I find myself eager to be upon Terra Firma once more.
Kona to Pahoa;
I was reminded of North Carolina what for the humidity. It was the first time I'd ever exited a plane in that fashion, going directly onto the tarmac. Sabina remarked it was very Casablanca. Apparently, in Hawaii, you no longer get flowers draped about your neck upon arrival, unless your in-laws decide it would be a cute and otherwise corking idea. I was not terribly excited. We ate pizza in the parking lot, though, I was so hungry I question whether or not I actually tasted anything.
On the way from the airport I tried to make a brave show of it, but being up for a day and a half with a handful of catnaps hit me like a two-ton heavy thing. I guess it speaks to how much I trust the company I have found myself in for the next ten days. One of the last times I saw Sabina's parents, her mother said I was good for their daughter. Given I am usually tolerated, if that, by parents, this a great honor.
There is very little light pollution, making the stars deliciously brilliant. Because there are not eleven and twelve thousand foot peaks hemming us in, there are more of them to see. I wish I had a telescope.
From open windows I can hear the ballads of frogs and a hymnal of surf. Occasionally, a chicken crows in the small hours darkness. I have some vodka to unwind. Sleep is in order. In the daylight I shall walk to the ocean.