- When did you last punch someone? Alternate question: When did someone last punch you?
I wasn’t always the pacifist I claim to be today, so I have thrown a fair number of punches, some of them finding their mark. But it has been a very long time, since early high school, and it shames me to think about them now, so I’m answering the alternate question. A couple of months ago, I was walking to a bus stop rather late at night in my neighborhood. People familiar with the area (North King Street near Mokauea Street in Kalihi) will tell you the only surprising thing about this story is that things didn’t escalate, or maybe that this kind of thing doesn’t happen to me all the time. I walked past one bus stop on my way to a safer one at which to wait in the dark (the one across Farrington High School). A guy — thin, not very tall, slightly hunched over, early twenties — threw a punch at my face as I passed. His aim was horrible, and his fist glanced harmlessly off my cheekbone. I was startled. I drew a fist back (honestly, not to take a swing, but to give him something to think about as I considered where I might run) and I looked him in the eye. He was drunk. “What?!” he demanded, taking an aggressive stance as though he might swing again. I gave him an exaggeratedly puzzled look. “What are you doing?” I asked. He repeated his question. I said, “What the heck?” and continued walking to the next bus stop. I kept my eyes on him as I did, awkwardly looking back over my shoulder. He kept yelling one-word threats at me but didn’t come after me. At least not at first. He did make his slow, staggering way toward my bus stop and arrived just as my bus pulled up at the curb. I got on and he didn’t follow me.
- How many of those frequent (whatever) stampcards/punchcards do you have, and which are you most likely to fill and redeem?
I’m not going to count duplicates and say it’s in the area of twenty local establishments, some of which aren’t even in business anymore, such as Koi Catering and Takeout (the food truck still exists but I’ve never seen it), Ice Forest, and Ice Fru. I need to do some cleaning up. The card I’m most likely to complete and redeem next is from Friend Cafe, my favorite boba cafe. I actually have a couple of completed cards but haven’t redeemed them so I could use them some day when I don’t have any money. I tend to save my completed stamp cards for rainy days, and then the cards either expire or the businesses close permanently.
- When have you had a really good fruit punch?
I used to make a really popular fruit punch from a recipe I got from my mom. People would ask me, going back to high school days, to bring it to parties. I made it often enough that I didn’t need to look at the recipe anymore, and over the years whenever I’ve made it, I think I’ve mutated the amounts bit by bit until the last time I tried to make it and it was terrible. It used powdered strawberry Jell-O (cooked but not set), pineapple juice (to keep the Jell-O from setting), frozen strawberries, and ginger ale. I’ve also been at functions at some of the really nice hotels here, and the fruit punches at those things can be crazy good.
- What are your thoughts on boxing?
I love it, but I swore off it shortly after I began teaching. I decided that watching boxing was getting in the way of my becoming the pacifist I wanted to be. My dad taught me how to fight, taught me beginning at a young age, and although I love him and respect him, I don’t want to be him, at least not where it comes to resolving conflict. I’m not saying watching boxing leads to violence. I am saying that watching boxing glorifies something I don’t want to glorify, as much as I love the sporting aspect. Amd yeah, I think it makes ME (not anyone else) more likely to seek non-peaceful ways out of stuff. I mean, I’ll watch pro wrestling, and I’ll watch movies about boxing. But I won’t watch real boxing. My resolve was first put to the test when Tyson fought Holyfield the first time. When I found out the next morning that Holyfield won, I felt a large pit open up in my stomach. “I missed it!” I said to myself, sadly. Then when they fought again, when Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear off, I said, “Oh thank goodness I don’t watch boxing anymore!” After each major fight ever since, I have one or the other response when I hear the results. I believe I’m better off — if not necessarily a better person — not watching.
- When do you usually punch in and punch out?
Officially 8:30 in and 5:30 out, but I’ve gotten temporary permission to come in at 9:00 and leave at 6:00. I’m having major sleep issues that make the later start time much, much easier on me. My boss is wonderful and would let me make it permanent, would even let me go 9:30 to 6:30 if I asked for it, which would be even better for me, but I’m trying to work these sleep problems out, not to rely on a later start time. ‘Though to be honest, two days out of five, I’m in from 9:30 anyway and staying until past 7:00. I get more work done when everyone else leaves the building.