Sunday, May 29, 2016

Simone Weil 32

Just back from Vietnam in 1971, he drove down the narrow road to Miloli'i. The sea's deep there, so they fish in the old Hawaiian way. From one hut he heard the most beautiful music. Points toward the stage: it was that guy, Led Kaapana. Saved his life. He remembers this song—must be getting old. Scots-Irish-Chinese-Hawaiian. Hawaiians used to welcome everyone in, he says, his arms stretched out in a circle. His family sold his land. Money, he says, rubbing his fingers together. Money. Bought land in Waiahole and grew papaya. But then the Agent Orange; he points to his chest, up and down. Sounds so good, eh? A-GENT O-RANGE. The jungle was a comfort to him, but then they walked out into the bright light. We killed three million of them, and they killed 58 thousand of us. The Chinese fed their hungry. (He's Chinese you know.) His great-grandfather was Scottish but spoke Hawaiian, fished the windward coast. That small church at the Marine Corps; he founded it. They all died of disease, no matter who they were. His unit came after the B-52s laid down their carpets. They killed the ones who were terribly wounded, had to. One guy tried to enlist for a fourth time, but they didn't let him. He remembers this song—must be getting old. He forgets things now. Puts down his coffee cup and walks out the golf course side of Honey's Bar and Grill. It's owned by the Presbyterian Church.

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