Friday, May 1, 2020

The gardener and the hipster

She says she's getting boots soon, the woman who gardens the gentle slope between her town house and Hui Iwa Street. She sprays water from a green hose at the thick-leaved oregano clustered around a monkey pod. Looks at her feet. "These slippers just don't work," she says; they do look unstable in the moist earth. There's a scar on her left knee, and her teeshirt reads "Lanai." Her husband's an RN at the Kaiser ICU. She says we're lucky because we don't have many people here, but tourists have so little respect. They tell the cops at the airport they're going to stay inside, then they don't even wear masks. Have some respect. She was standing in line at Tamura's in Hau`ula the other day, early; everyone was wearing a mask. This haole guy comes in, dressed like a Silicon Valley hippie (hipster), and while she's ordering poke, he appears next to her, asking questions of the woman behind the counter. The woman told him he had to leave. "What?" He seemed dumbfounded. "You don't have a mask on; there's a protocol." The gardener imitates his face as it contorts into disbelief. She starts making wide circular motions with her hand in front of her face: MASK, MASK. He muttered something, exiting the store.

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