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Lush on Lewers St. walking down Lewers St. in Honolulu twin Hawaiian bums sit in front of an ABC store the irony I thought, me being sober seeing double drunks sitting on a street curb I shook my head and laughed then it seemed not so funny but haunting- was this a harbinger of things to come? one of them holds out his hand and says, “ Bia kala.” the usual conflicting thoughts enter into my mind things like: if I give him money for beer, I’d be an enabler contributing to the problem I began to get angry I came to Hawaii to get away from L.A’s shit stains and now here was another one polluting paradise with his pupu residue I wanted to hit him over the head with my surf board drag his aloha ass onto the sand and bury the pig underground so I wouldn’t have to look at him (so I wouldn’t have to look at me!) then the other set of thoughts the boring spiritual ones such as: it’s not who one gives to it’s the act of giving -blah, blah, blah it’s none of my business what or where he spends the money yada, yada, yada I know what it’s like to need that drink cough, cough, cough patience, tolerance, and love what about compassion? sniff, sniff, sniff and so on and so forth with the bullshit I was telling myself but in reality it was I who wanted a drink- sipping on a beautiful, multicolored Mai Tai with my toes in the sand on Waikiki Beach sounded damn good! some how I wanted it to be his fault for my thoughts I watched him try to play his guitar in an alcoholic stupor I felt his frustration- too drunk to play a tune but too sober to know you can’t play a tune I gave him seven bucks for the drink I wanted but couldn’t have “Mahalo nani!” and the twin Hawaiian bums were gone faster than I could say Paca lolo! then the miracle the gift they always talk about like the Hawaiian showers the thought to drink disappeared and a rainbow of gratitude flowed through me (gag, I know, cliché) but true I thanked the gods for my nine year pot of gold.
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