The eastern world, it is explodin’
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’?
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.
So yeah. I turned in at around 9:30 Wednesday night, which should have given me five hours of sleep before heading to the laundry. Of course it never works out that way. I was awake at 12:30 and never really went back to sleep. I gave up at 2:00, fifteen minutes ahead of my alar, and just packed up to go.
Since lockdown began, I have always lugged my laptop, my wireless keyboard, and my mifi device to the laundry, but this time I just packed my Kindle, looking forward to a couple of hours of early-early morning silence and Utopia Avenue.
There were more people than usual when I got there, but everyone stayed far away from me, and they were done before I was, so I had the place to myself through most of the drying, and I made good progress in the novel.
I’d brought my board shorts with me, thinking I might try a sunrise swim at Ala Moana to end the year, and was still undecided when I stopped at the office to use the restroom. The office is midway between the laundry and the beach. When I reminded myself that I wasn’t on a schedule, I had the day off, and I had a reliable set of wheels and all day to do whatever I wanted (including sleep and read), circumstances nearly dictated a trip to the beach.
Not a lot of people had the same idea. I had my end of the ocean to myself, and although I’m discouraged by how quickly one falls out of shape (not that I ever was in shape, but I lost even that). I stayed in the water well past the point where I was spent, and just enjoyed being wet and salty. The sun came up over the Waikiki hotels about midway through my time, and it was lovely.
Despite the Quarter Pounder (with cheese) combo I ate at the laundry merely a few hours earlier, I was hungry by the time I was ready to go, so I did something I haven’t done since well before the lockdown. Picked up breakfast at the L&L in Ala Moana Park. There are two, one of them on my end of the beach, but that one hasn’t reopened since it closed in March. I don’t know when the Magic Island concession reopened, but I noticed it some time ago.
Ordered a grilled garlic ahi plate and scarfed it at a picnic table near the pond where they race radio-controlled sailboats. The place is getting a facelift, with one of those orange meshy plastic fences around the water and its shore, but a couple of older guys found an opening and had their fishing poles. I enjoyed watching them as I inhaled my second breakfast.
I stopped at Hawaiian Pie Company to pick up an apple caramel pie. I don’t remember the order of what I did next, but it involved a nap, some novel-reading, reading the news, the crossword and Spelling Bee, and a couple of little chores.
Then I whipped out the guitar.
Not my guitar, the one I bought in college and still own, which needs a little repair but the piece needing replacement is lost somewhere in my living room. That Takamine (whose name is Joanne), which has served me well and will again, is temporarily on the injured list until I find that piece.
My coworker Kapio moved to Kauai a couple of years ago. She still works with us but they’re letting her work remotely, which is great for her and great for us. She’d bought an old used classical some time before, and didn’t want to take it with her, so she gave it to me in an old, broken gig bag. It’s sat in my laundry room these past two years.
But I’d listened to Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction” on endless repeat all morning and some new lyrics to update it (I just found out McGuire himself updated the lyrics a few times, the first time when he was on Christian record labels), and I was itching to play it. I had visions of recording it with some of the (still unused) podcast toys I picked up in 2020 and maybe posting it here.
Yikes. I thought I was out of swimming shape. I’m reeeeeeally out of guitar shape. My chording fingers yowled at me after twenty minutes. I have very little experience with nylon or the wider neck of the classical guitar, but this doesn’t explain all of my issues. I understood quickly I would have to work myself back into playing shape, maybe get some callouses back on my fingertips and get used to playing the classical.
So I paid online for a new set of strings from the music store sharing the building with the nonprofit I work for and drove to the office building for the second time in twelve hours. Also bought a new harmonica in case I actually decide to record myself. Might be a fun way to learn to use these toys, since I don’t know when I’m going to be able to do the podcast of my vision.
A guy from the store walked my purchase right out to my car and thanked me.
And then I hit the beach again. Why not? was all the reason I needed. Got a decent parking space and jumped in and it was even better than earlier. Pushed myself a little harder, then just goofed around past the buoys for half an hour or so. Reflected. Considered the rest of my weekend.
A nice way to spend the last day of a crappy year.
I wanted to pick up a pizza from Dolan’s downtown, but there were so many people in there I couldn’t bring myself to venture in, and when I tried calling for a curbside order, the phone was busy. Plan B (it was a day of plan Bs): dim sum from Mei Sum one block over. Char siu bao, turnip cakes, pot stickers, taro gok with scallops.
That was my year-end meal, enjoyed with copious amounts of ice water. I hadn’t hydrated well most of the day and could feel it.
I must have overdone it at the beach because I had a headache and was super tired. Maybe some heat exhaustion, or maybe dehydration? I don’t know but I had to go to bed after dinner and didn’t get up until around nine. Spent the last hours of the year listening to music and reading my novel. Not at the same time. Also did the Friday crossword (it was cute and fairly challenging — I finished it in seventeen minutes) and the Friday Spelling Bee. Shortly after midnight, I had a slice of pie.
For the record, my first meal of 2021 was a delicious slice of apple caramel pie. Keep your ozoni, which I love but which is not worth fighting for mizuna over. This is a better tradition.
I read until I dropped, sometime around 3:00. Good riddance 2020.
Reid texted to ask for some parental guidance info on Ted Lasso, which I was happy to give. Sylvia texted me from the office late in the day to say Happy New Year’s Eve. We chatted about a few things in the Cindy-Suzanne-Julie group text, including our plans for food and drink. Crush Girl and I texted a little about what we’re reading.
Hope anyone reading this got through okay. Leave a comment if you want someone to connect with. The days are brightening, eventually and slowly, but we’re not out of this yet. Don’t go through it disconnectedly.