Good fortune and good friendship found me purchasing yet another ticket to Kona. My good friend, The Big Kahuna, invited me to join him and his band of merry stragglers on an eight-day trip to The Big Island. Kahuna and I spent the next six weeks planning, plotting, praying time would move faster, and packing. Not only is Hawaii a home for my squishy insides, but I determined it would be an appropriate home for my Lava Guy.

Lava Guy was found, waiting for the new tenants, at my first apartment on Hudson and Perry in New York’s West Village in 1992. The two bedroom was bare, except for the nine-inch tall, five-pound, Lava Guy. My room-mate and I placed him on prominent display and  I have carried him with me for the last two decades, assuming he was good juju, which he may have been. However, on my last trip to Kona I learned that one leaves footprints and takes photographs. I am superstitious, most are of my own irrational creation, but once reminded of The Brady’s misfortune returning from Hawaii with a Tiki infested with tarantulas, I forego all the pretty sea shells, bright white coral bleached by the salt and sun, and especially the lava. That being said, it was time for Lava Guy to go home.

Unwittingly I set myself up, who’s gonna let you pass through LAX with a five-pound lava god in your carry on? I also had a half-dozen tumbled rutilated quartz and some other magical stones on me and was wearing Birkenstocks and sweatpants. I’m taking it way passed Costanza. I got a pat down that turned into a full rub down, which rendered me bruised and asking for her number. I waved my traveling companions along and for a half an hour I repeated the Brady Bunch legacy to LAX Security, Supervisors, and an actual cop. “Now just the bag”, “Now just the lava”, “Now I’m going to rub this paper on you and run it through the machine.”, “Lift your shirt, whoa, not too high.” Finally, after a few terrorists had slid though with underwear bombs, my Lava Guy and I were free to go.

Getting off the plane, the Trade Winds caressed my cheek and welcomed me home. I chuckled as I unpacked the victorious, smiling Lava Guy.

I went straight to bed after unpacking, fully aware that Hawaii would blow my socks off at sunrise. In the weeks leading up to our departure, The Kahuna and I had discussed, with much anticipation, that we did not feel bad in Hawaii. Not that we are morbidly sad, but here, at home, you consider the past, and people you’ve hurt or disappointed. You consider the future, igniting fears that linger like embers, even when you’re momentarily sustained by the present. When we’re in Hawaii, there’s no past and no future, only now. Contemplating it on the first morning, while drinking coffee on the patio, I realized that Hawaii thoroughly occupies every sense. There’s no room for anything else.

With two new inductees to the Relax and Roll Club, we immediately began the day by locating and enjoying all the free coffee, muffins, apples and bottled water. There’s free coffee by the golf carts, for the putters. Free coffee, tea, muffins and home-made croissants in the lobby. We went to a free, Kona coffee tasting at the buffet, where we ladies christened ourselves in the name of the coffee beans: Fancy, Extra Fancy and Number One. I took Number One, as I was standing at the end and I have that ridiculous knuckle tattoo. The free apples and bottled water are by the gym and there’s dried fruit and nuts and water spiked with lemon in the spa.

Once we were full up on free food, we took ’em to the show AKA the beach. I get chills just thinking about that first moment when you’re confronted with such overwhelming love. Forget the close quarters of Island living, the reason everyone there is so frickin’ shiny from the inside out, is clear, literally. Clear and blue, full of life and power. You are standing on a volcano that rose from the sea and is being kissed by the Pacific. You are an ant and you are happy.

Old friends were there to greet us. I honestly believe I know these guys. It might be the fact that I saw “E.T. The Extraterrestrial” opening weekend at the Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard, and have never stopped loving him, but the Green Sea Turtle is fast becoming my favorite animal. In the water they’re like hawks in the sky, fluid and fast, using their fins to fly in the currents, coasting on the jet stream. On land they’re next level in their down time. They put Florida Granny’s to shame, how hard they chill. It takes a lotta sunshine to get through their thick shells to warm their squishy insides.

The best way to get acclimatized to this slow pace is to simply sit still and watch the horizon. Either that or you order a pitcher of “Late for the Party”, which is tequila, muddled raspberries, lime, agave, and jalapenos, in a pitcher full of ice. We opted for a little bit of both. Then to top it off we got a really shitty book from our beach boy and howled with laughter, reading in English, Australian, and German accents.

I charged up the crystals. The rutilated quartzes are supposed to be able to hold energy. Hence, I brought my own and I can take a little Hawaii home without pissing off the Gods.

The book provided the latest lingo: HORNPIPE. Please read and feel your hornpipe.

We hopped on the golf cart to hit the Canoe Club Pool, which has a thatched roof hot tub for ten and an infinity pool.

The Kahuna and Fancy spied on a wedding being set-up on the beach.

The sun set on the first of many perfect days. Mahalo.

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