When they speak of the great Honolulu black-out, I can say I was there. The table lamp blinked three times; the television went off and on three times and in half a heart beat, I’d pulled the power cord off my laptop, isolating it from any electrical surge. Then the panic came: I was in trouble; I’d short-circuited the whole apartment. Oh, no! A quick look outside where only half the corridor lights were on. Oh, no, I shorted the whole building. A glance out the lanai (porch). Oh, no, I shorted out the whole city, what the hell did I do? Such is the nature of hubris.
And because I’d seen, a few weeks back, A Quantum of Solace, I was assailed with images of a land-sea-air assault on the island of Oahu because the president-elect was somewhere therein. Was that lightning I saw or an EMP bomb knocking everything out? I thought of the P-e-OTUS house ringed by kamaina Marines with fixed bayonets and fully cocked assault rifles, ready to defend everything and everyone, their ears practically sprouting antennae, eyes bulging at the sudden dark.
Were this the case, help for insignificant me would take a long time. I was stuck on the 25th floor, with no water and no way to cook food. My hyperventilating mind was already calculating how many bed sheets tied end-to-end it would take to reach the ground floor when the resident/owner of the apartment showed up, along with the resident/owner of the apartment next door. There was an emergency generator, it seemed, and one elevator was working. Thus were my hopes of doing a Die Hard escape from a high rise thwarted! Hmmp!
Actually, it has been an easy two weeks in Hawaii where I forgot my birthday and, had it not been for a Sports Authority gift card, I would’ve forgotten Christmas as well. Time just flows differently on an island; it seems to gather in shallow pools and eddy there, bringing forth random images, so that events transpire at the very instant of one’s remembering.
While lining up for kona coffee ($1.95 per 8-ounce Styrofoam cup) at the central kiosk of the food court of the Ala Moana Center, I suffered a mild fugue. Like palimpsest, the image of the food court at the Ali Mall in Quezon City, Philippines, seeped through the environs; surely, that must have been the ancestor of all food courts in the world. Then, the guy behind me said to his companion that the line was too long and they should go to Starbucks. I’d barely managed two sips of the burnt coffee at Starbucks the previous day. An outraged “haole!” nearly escaped my lips and instantly, the face of this Hawaiian guy rose in my mind, telling me that haole, used for Caucasians, actually meant salmon-bottom.
It had taken me weeks to work out why the “natives” would focus on that particular anatomical part. If you’re puzzled, link it with the missionary position that you’ll realize just what kind of past time must have occupied Captain Cook’s “marines.” Eh!
But not to cavil since I took my first half-way decent photo here in Hawaii, with my new used Nikon D-70. This one’s for my friend Agnes, who frightened me with a challenge to a photo exhibit the day I told her I got the Nikon. And since I took this one on Christmas Day, I gave it the title “Walking On Water.”