Saturday, June 15, 2024

Dog walk, sans Lilith (Volcano)


About a quarter mile ahead of me as I walked back on Haunani Road, a large white dog stopped; she was with a thin man, which was all I could see of him. The man tried half-heartedly to get his dog to move, but she (she was Sheba!) was more interested in my long approach down the road, past the car graveyard and the house with screens hanging from their frames. Her person had kind eyes, set in a wrinkled face, a mouth with few teeth, and a knit cap on top. We talked. His elderly mom had lived in the basement of his house; he brought her here from LA. He can't even stand Hilo, he loves it here so much. He lives on the private road where a man (named Shawn, as it turned out) had screamed at me a couple of years ago. "He's especially bad with women," said P. I said I could tell. 
Up Maile, I saw a much bigger dog--Akita--on a rope held by his person, another wrinkled guy with a glimmer in his eye. I told him I'd often seen the dog (named Mana) by himself, loping down this very road, sometimes with the man in a beat-up car trailing him. Turned out both our dogs are hunters (though little Lilith is not on this trip). Mana had attacked a pig nearby, took his ear off, went after his neck but couldn't bite through the ridge. The man's name was Shawn, but he was not the same Shawn. "I had my .45 with me, and I thought of using it on the poor pig, but I'm not a killer, so I couldn't. The pig looked at me and said, leave me alone, so now there's a one-eared pig out there somewhere." He'd gone home and cried.
I told him I appreciated the fact that he had such a weapon and didn't use it. He hitched up his jacket, so I could see the pistol on his belt. There are gangs around here, he said, and he's interrupted three robberies. They chased him around Volcano village at 60 miles an hour the other day. "We're going to get you, Shawn," they yelled. 
He'd commented on my KC cap. I said it was the Monarchs, from the Negro Leagues Museum in KC. He thought my hat was "politically correct." "You could see why the white guys didn't want to play them," he opined. They were bred . . . I broke in to say that no one is bred for baseball. "Oh, as athletes, he said." I responded that the Black players were like the local Japanese ones, chips on their shoulders, shitty fields to play on, needing to prove themselves. 
He was from Kansas he said. Did I know why Lawrence is such a beautiful town? (So liberal it's crazy, he said, and I responded that that's probably why I liked it, along with having friends there.) Cuz the Jesse James gang burned it down. "Was that before the Civil War?" I asked. He looked pleased and said, yes, Bleeding Kansas. Missouri wanted to be a slave state so they came and burned Lawrence down. It was rebuilt as a beautiful, tree-lined place.
We shook hands (my second hand shake in half an hour) and I walked home. No dog, but a story.

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