All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
–Anatole France (1844-1924), novelist
Like the great ‘80s hair band Europe used to say, “It’s the final countdown.” Minus the synthesized trumpets, those are the words ringing in my head everywhere I go now, which is sort of giving all my familiar haunts a decidedly more conclusive glow. Plus, I’ve come to realize there’s much to be done before I leave Maui. Luckily, I had some time to think about all of this last Sunday as I put in a day shift at my pals’ coffee shop on the Westside…
Danny Bonaduce walks in, pausing at the register. He’s short, tan and has obviously been working out. “Give me something sweet with coffee in it,” he says with a smile. I fix him a cold-pressed espresso toddy, blended with lots of caramel and cream.
It’s funny how we view celebrities on the island; no wonder they like to come here. We ignore them. Aunty Jan from the superette, Cousin Larry from the electric company or Uncle Rob from the dive shop will get considerably more attention from other locals than Paris Hilton would.
Gosh, there are so many friends I need to hang out with before I go. And the packing, the shipping, the Matson… oh, crap.
An older man steps up to the counter and reads aloud the sign on the tip jar: “Tipping is not just for cows.” He laughingly suggests I put “Tipping is for sexy people” instead, like they do with great success back home in Indiana. I make my Sunday morning call to Mom. She tells me about her wealthy friends from California who are on island right now buying another home.
I check my email and get an invite to attend an Investment Club. Another couple comes in from golfing to print their boarding passes. I wonder if I’m gonna have enough money saved to make this big move to the city, and if somebody—somebody really good—is going to hire me. And pay me a ton of dough.
Saving money has always been rather difficult. Although I’ve been lucky to have a full-time writer gig, it isn’t the highest paying job. So I’ve taken on some freelance work, which has been nice. But recently I went to a financial advisor to see if I could ever hope to end the endless work-to-live rut.
I told him my plans. He listened politely to my concerns and balked slightly at my paltry suggested contributions to an as-yet-nonexistent IRA. He advised me instead to hang out with the hedge-funders in the city, and gave me a list of their favorite bars and restaurants.
A nine-year-old kid sits down at the organ and plays an uptempo, two-chord electrobeat that is way more rockin’ than any modern Euro-neu-wave-acid jazz-house band I’ve heard in awhile. After making something like a kagillion shave ice, I try eating my very first—blue raspberry, pink bubblegum and wild cherry, with vanilla bean ice cream on the bottom. Wow, that’s good stuff. Take five for brain freeze…
I check my horoscope: “You have the uncanny ability now to move slowly and steadily in the direction of your future. You’ve established your goals and created the strategy that will get you there. This isn’t about a quick dash for the finish line. Be patient and execute your plan with an eye to your future.”
A lot of you have been asking about my plans—where I’m moving, what I’ll be doing, and can we meet for coffee before I go. For now, I will just answer your first query. I’m planning to move back to the mainland, find a job within the publishing realm, and spread my writerly wings a bit. And no, I don’t have a job lined up yet. (I’M GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO AND YES YOU CAN BUY ME COFFEE!)
I’ve been here 10 years and I love Maui. But I am feeling the need for a change, and I’m hoping to take my career to some next level—whatever that may be. It’s a scary step to take, considering the niche I seem to have created for myself here with MTW, and the family of friends I’m lucky to have had over the years. But if I don’t try now, I’ll never know.
I hate to keep making references to ‘80s songs but—okay, no I don’t. The ‘80s rock! Viva la ‘80s!
Anyway, it’s like the intro to that fantastic Butthole Surfers song “Sweat Loaf.” It goes like this:
“What does regret mean?”
“Well, son, the funny thing about regret is that it’s better to regret something you have done than to regret something you haven’t done…
“And by the way, if you see your mom this weekend, will you be sure and tell her—
SATAN SATAN SATAN!!!”
I go online and buy my plane ticket. August 1. Exactly 10 years from the date I moved here. Crazy. The stereo is playing “I’ll Be Seeing You.”
One more to go. Cue that synthesized trumpet…
Samantha Campos would like to thank Hawaiian Village Coffee for her latest drug of choice and coffee grind beauty regimen. MTW