Saturday, October 09, 2010

spent almost all day with the kids, and that was ok, because it was a beautiful day, and, it's actually one guy's birthday (or at least monday) - his party - which is why we were roller skating earlier, and now i'm typing as four young lads are deep in their sleeping bags making a lot of noise but not getting to sleep. it's a "sleepover" - three are over; a fourth is mine; another still is upstairs; it's been a wild evening, but that's the way it's supposed to be.

roller skating was really a young teenage girl scene, although i myself had brought seven boys including myself. we skated around in circles and finally got kind of tired and you would think they'd be a little more tired now. but mostly i got tired, whereas they just got wound up. and so it goes; they even get injured, and it doesn't slow them down much at all.

at home i look up the haiku stairs and watch youtubes of people jumping off cliffs in gliding balloons off into the haiku valley, off the cliffs overlooking the windward side, or the east side, of oahu island hawaii. it's completely a different world from here; a tropical cliff, with an iron set of steps up and down the ridge of these cliffs overlooking the dense tropical jungle; apparently it rains a lot, and it's very windy, but when the sun's out, it's very hot and steamy, and people occasionally suffer from lack of water, since it's closed, and they have to go in there surreptitiously and often are not well prepared. from way up on its heights you can see cities on the eastward side of the island: kaneohe, its bay, the sea. it's a crowded island. the little jungle parts of it that the stairs traverse are the unoccupied parts, but they are fought over, and you get in trouble if you're caught up there. people go in at about four or five am, before the guard gets there; they watch the sunrise from the cliffs. others dive off, free falling in their balloons or whatever it is they use to jump.

i do this partly because it's just so wild, so far away, from what i experience every day. today, the soccer field was very nice; i was exhausted, and slumped in a lawn chair, but the kids ran around, and provided entertainment; the day was beautiful, the air clean; off in the distance, one could hear high school bands playing in the homecoming parade, downtown. the bands were, as usual, not perfect, not totally in tune or in time. that hardly mattered though; i know from experience, at the parade, the main point is being there and marching, or, being there and watching. this time i kind of lost track of the score altogether, and watched the children carefully. my own chased some butterflies there at the end, but did run around and kick the ball quite a bit; on the older boy's field, people were very aware of the score, but i tried not to mention it or let it concern me. again, i watched people a lot; why not? it was incredibly clear, dry, sunny & pleasant. the dry grass crackled beneath my feet.

on oahu, it often gets very windy on the cliffs, and the fog rises from the haiku valley, which leads people to call the old iron stairway, stairway to heaven. out in the sea one can see what is called manana island; i'd never heard of this until today, and have no idea if it comes from the spanish "tomorrow" (does the irish language have any word that means like the spanish manana, one irish singer was asked once; a word that means, not so much "tomorrow", as "not today"?...i'm afraid, the singer replied, that the irish language has no word that expresses that kind of uuuurrrrrgency...) anyway, they look off at the sea, and this island, and you see some people just free jumping in the background, trusting, i guess, that the wind will take them someplace manageable, someplace where they won't be saddled with a parachute, but jammed with the pricklers of tropical bushes. apparently it's like california only more so; space is at a premium; if you are where they don't want you, people notice it right away.

why do i bring this up...when i don't know these people, have never been there, have nothing to add to the discussion, really. they make good youtubes. anyone can see them; it's kind of the tropical, far western, far southern edge of the usa; the cliffs rise out of the sea like jagged teeth, covered with this tropical growth; on the flat parts below, people have built up the island, but on the tropical mountains, you have only these iron steps, and some parts of the steep pathway which are a bit muddy and awkward; an old abandoned concrete house that was, in its day, used for something or other, and this incredible view back over the ocean, back toward california. it's way out there; someday, i'll go there, i swear; i'll play honolulu, on the fiddle or something, and then i'll tell someone, yes, there is one place out here i've always wanted to see.

virtual reality means, your free time, if you need escapism, you just escape. it's the homework i'm really avoiding; once again, i've brought a stack home for the weekend, and i'm trying not to let it ruin the weekend, while actually, it's mere existence there, in my briefcase, is ruining my weekend. doing it on saturday, or saturday night, is no good, even complaining about it is giving me a small headache; putting it off makes tomorrow long and difficult, but is better, in the long run. the first of the boys, exhaused, is drifting off; another is on his way. the night, dry and cool and beautiful, is reaching that part of it, closer to midnight, when the partiers and the police both get more serious about being out there, a kind of running conflict that i want nothing to do with. from the window, where i sit, though, i can hear it, off in the distance. the last of the boys, slowly, slowly, settles down. they are, after all, away from home; i can't expect them to be as comfortable as i would be, on my own floor; someday, maybe, they'll remember this.


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