Saturday, April 09, 2011

Forty Days of Lent: Day 32

Kauai, Hawaii

I'm at the airport waiting at the gate and while I strive to be charitable, I can't help but see the human race as an endless freak show. I see a girl with with a horrible dark scar across her face and instinctively look away. Upon sneaking a second glance I realize she just has her hair in her face. Perhaps I'm tired. I don't fly well.

I lose the bottle of water to airport security. I suspect the "no more than 3 ounces of a liquid may be taken on the plane" rule is more of a sop to airports and shops from which they get revenue. The first thing I see after getting through security is a store where you can re-buy anything taken away from you. In addition to replenishing my water, I buy what I think of as my "I hate to fly" kit, including ear plugs for the descent, hoping to God that maybe this time my eardrums will stay where they belong. Tylenol PM was recommended as a sleep aid by a coworker, but I can't find any.

"Can I help you?" the girl behind the counter asks.

No point in lying. "I need something to knock me out. I was looking for Tylenol PM, but you don't seem to have it."

"How about the Unisom Sleepgels? They're supposed to make you sleep."

They work, but only for a couple of hours and then I feel groggy and restless, which I wouldn't have thought possible.

But we land and are immediately focused on the logistics of getting the rental cars and deciding if we want to open a Costco membership and shop there even though it is about 45 minutes from where we will be staying. It's not until we stop at a beachside restaurant that I realize, as contentment overcomes me, that I am in Hawaii and it is beautiful and that there are chickens wandering around our table.

I've been reading Sarah Vowell's Unfamiliar Fishes, her history of how Hawaii became part of the United States. She focuses on the contrast between New England missionaries and while comparing creation myths writes:

...the fruit of knowledge poisons [people] with fancy ideas and so they are cast out of a garden bearing a striking resemblance to the island of Kauai. (Though having been to the pleasantly sleepy Kauai, I can see how after a few days of lollygagging amidst the foliage, a woman would bite into just about anything to scare up something to read.)

Whereas a few days of lollygagging amidst the foliage is exactly what I want. That and a margarita or two.

No comments: