Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Solitary Walker


Kealia Park, North Shore, O`ahu. She was walking on the green curb; an SUV slowed to look, then drove on. She was talking, but not on a cell phone. I was standing beside the curb next to Bryant, who was fussing with his bike. She walked right behind him, holding to the curb. I didn't move. She stood in front of me in her hacked shoulder-length ginger hair, her face clear and freckled, of an indeterminate age. Teens, 20s? "I'm talking to them all," she said, but not to me. "But they can't hear," she said, as she continued down the curb, hands clamped against both her ears. After our bike ride, we packed down and stopped at a 7-Eleven for Coke and chicken curry manapua. There she was, sitting on the sidewalk. Bryant offered her a granola bar on his way in, and she said no, she wanted cigarettes. He walked inside. "I hope he dies," she rasped, not about Bryant. As we drove away, the green bar rested on the sidewalk just out of her reach, and she did not reach. On the high wave-cut cliff just north of Kahuku, someone placed a tall flag-pole from which waves a huge blue Trump flag. I tried to take a photograph, but the sun was too bright and the angle unworkable.

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