Friday, January 20, 2023

Lilith talks, and talks

Lilith and I walked quietly around Min Soon, who was meditating on a bench that looks out on preservation land. We walked down the hill behind the townhouses, where the plants grow extra large, pausing at the eucalyptus tree that coughs up tar, and then up some stairs to the back of a maintenance shed. A short man in black baseball cap is standing inside. "Nice camera!" he says. He used to work for the Nature Conservancy on Maui as a photographer; went up in helicopters, looked down on ridges too narrow to see otherwise. But lots of people had left, so he became their grunt. Lived in Ewa, has a standard shift car that he bought from a friend for $100 (down from $500 because he didn't know how to drive it), is now resident manager up the hill from us. "Mind if I take some photos?" I asked. "Lucky I cleaned up yesterday." When I said I prefer scatter, he said, "oh you should have come by last week." He remembered me as the woman who once came around and took photos of sheet metal. Lilith was pulling on the leash, because chickens. I told him about our book, _Lilith Walks_, and the odd conversations we have with people when we walk. He said that was a great idea, and he wished he'd written down what happens when people come by the shed or call him on the phone. We introduced ourselves, and then Lilith pulled me away.
At the rec center down the hill, a woman in yellow shirt and shorts, big framed glasses, approached and asked if Lilith was friendly. Would she meet her dog? Of course. So she walked to her ancient blue SUV, opened the front door, and out leaped Boba, a poi dog with a bit of a boxer's nose. He greeted Lilith, then walked to the nearest light pole, lifted his back leg and fired. Then fired again.


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