04 February 2016
There and Back Again
On the morning of the last full day...
Some traveling music. One, because of the mention of tidal pools, the other because it's Faith No More...
Somehow, it was fitting we had to wait two hours to check in. The airline sends its employees home between the early and late flights. Sabina's parents dropped us off by four in the afternoon in order to get back to Pahoa before dark. Not a fan of night driving these days, I can empathize. The days on the island, no matter the time of year because of its proximity to the equator, are never much more than twelve hours. Having to wait, I utter a new mantra I learned over a ten day stretch;
I had more trouble with security this time than coming out, but it actually was my fault. See, I forgot to take my phone out of my pocket, and, the lack-of-a-filter/pathologically caustic honesty, got me to point this out, which led to an extended search. To his credit, the TSA agent offered me privacy for this, but it was my fuck up and I had nothing to hide, so I stood my ground.
Since we had time to kill, I said to fuckery with it and got us beers. I'd rather not discuss the bar tab for two rounds of not even stout beer. It was sad that there were so few dark beers offered on the island. Another traveler in the bar postulated it was because of the warm environment, to which I called bullshit. My favorite beer on the planet is a stout out of Sri Lanka, which is lovely with spicy curries, and that place is not known for being cool in the sense of temperature.
Part of me hoped the beers would help with sleep. Or, at the very least, I wanted to be a little less high strung for the flight. Hip-hop was the backbeat, which made me contemplate a third round in favor of outright homicide.
It was obvious I was preparing for Colorado. My t-shirt, a Colorado company, read; If you're not already here, you're lost. Perhaps I was making a ham-handed attempt to be provocative. Maybe I was showing some state pride. I found curious symmetry that Colorado and Hawaii are sister states.
On the way to the airport, I zipped the legs onto my hiking pants. After security, I changed from sandals to my hiking boots. The air conditioner in the bar inspired me to put on my flannel, sleeves down. As we head further back, my vest and jacket will appear. The beanie I wore down from home will replace my cap.
The night before and earlier in the morning, Sabina waxed fatalistic about our return; back to obligations and bills and having to pay for laundry and groceries. I have been-baselessly!-accused of being cynical, but I just cannot lament like that. Within the mathematics of my thoughts is a party being tossed for the volunteers at my professional obligations on my first full day back and hopes of snowshoeing. The sun should almost be back on the house after the Long Dark.
Leaving Hawaii is not the end of the journey, just another leg of it. My journey ends when the lights go out, and I have absolutely no time to die. There is the auspice of living a life that does not require a vacation, because your life is a vacation. Some woo-woo love and light Iwanttopunchyouinthefuckingthroattowatchyourexpressionasyouhyperventilate types seem to have been recently trying to push that. I could say with a fair amount of certainty I have been living it for years, if not decades.
Yeh, I'm that kind of punk-rock in the Dali sense of keeping it surreal...
A late-night redeye to the mainland and I can't sleep. I watch The Martian, which was fairly faithful to the book. I flip through other bits of video media for background noise. Everyone else around me is asleep and it would be rude of me to click on the light to read.
This time, I set the timer on my phone. As these words find their way from the maggot's nest I call my mind to the page to dry in black India ink, there is an hour and a half left before we land. The last of the Star Wars prequels is on and I am not very excited about it-Thank you, oh so much for turning Darth Vader, my childhood hero, into a fucking whiny bitch-but it's background noise. I envy my fellow passengers their slumber. Insomnia and travel are twin aggravations.
Still no gentle people. And no one with flowers in their hair. What's this noise?
And I thought the music was bad in the Kona airport bar. In the pre-dawn small hours waiting at the gate, the music permeating the air is some fangless R&B tripe somewhat reminiscent of Sade, and the fact I even recognize the genre makes me want to scrub my scant flesh from my pronounced bones. Needless to say, I find this auditory circumstance disturbing.
The gate is right by a security checkpoint. There is the chitter-chatter of early morning travelers and the beeping and buzzing of scanners. If I close my eyes I can almost think it sounds like a casino. Every so often, a coldly automated female voice comes over unseen speakers to proselytize the paranoia of air travel in the post 9/11 world.
Nothing else is open yet. I'm down to a couple energy bars and a dubious amount of energy to hunt for anything else. Part of me craves coffee, but, after being wide awake nearly twenty-four hours, I figure that might be counterproductive. As it stands, I take a big slug of water from my bottle and try closing my eyes.
It hardly counts as a layover. Get off one plane and walk to the next door gate to board another. This is only the second smallest plane I have ever been on. Constantly, people make note of our cozy quarters. I find myself intrigued by the craft; it seems more fitting for island-hopping or the greater metroplex to a mountain STOL port than the flight we're about to undertake.
Although, given the journey started in Hawaii and will end at my mountain home, perhaps it all makes sense...
I managed to catnap for an hour. My vest and beanie are now on my person. As we landed I saw my first snow-capped mountains in ten days. It got me to smile.
Just a few hours left to go...
DIA to The House of Owls and Bats;
There was catharsis in steeping into an eighteen degree mountain night as the waxing gibbous moon illuminated the snow on the valleys high peaks. I love nearly and full moon nights in winter in my mountains for that very reason. There was the crispness of the air and the silence. It was in that moment of zen I realized I was home.
To backflash, a friend picked us up under a sky of broken clouds with rumors of storms further up. I was told I could never leave again, my place of professional obligations barely managed to function without me. Apparently, at the very least, no one else can reach the antique clock. I guess that's flattering.
The clouds thickened as we drove into the mountains, and there were flurries, but nothing significant. Part of me was sorry I was so busy talking to our friend and trying to stay awake that I didn't take note of my first sight of the Roof of the World. I figure it's okay. The realization I was back in my mountains got me to smile a grin of wicked joy and to whisper made-up mantras of thanksgiving.
The familiars were happy to see us. We unpack and our friend gave us soup so we'd not have to make any efforts for a dinner. We're home, happy, and now it's okay to be throughly exhausted. Soon we will sleep like larva morphing into butterflies.
In getting home, how could this not be my jam?