The only good thing about doing dumb shit is that you learn some things (at least, hopefully)—even when you’re likely doomed to repeat your mistakes. Here are the epiphanies that my latest foible’s earned:
1) We really need to keep an eye on those Russians.
2) The fetal position is only comfortable if you’re suspended in womb goo.
3) The Mainland needs to stop sending us their bums.
4) I’m no longer sentimentally attached to this mildewed upholstered armchair.
Alright, I guess those items warrant some explanation. And hell, I’ve got nothing better to do.
See, I’m writing to you now from a cheap Steno Book just purchased (on borrowed bread) from Chevron, with a Sharpie likewise acquired, because I’ve locked my keys, phone and purse inside the MauiTime office. The echoing bing-bong from the belfry on Church Street tells me it’s midnight—so I wouldn’t call any coworkers (who are anyway miles away) even if I had the means.
Which brings me to the first lesson:
After spending an hour contemplating every unlikely way I could ninja myself onto the office’s second story balcony (where I’d left a door agape), I’ve concluded that if I were, like, some Russian tracer (i.e. parkour practitioner), this’d be a piece of cake. Er, um, piece of biskvit.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know that Wiki says parkour was developed by Frenchman David Belle, and that “tracer” is an intentional simplification of the French word “traceur.” But YouTube introduced me to parkour (an extreme, freestyle form of gymnastics across urban edifices) as a Russian thing, so it’s stuck in my brain as such.
Speaking of my brain, it’s been all I can do to not envision it splattered on the Market Street sidewalk. So I’ve decided to nix my Jackie Chan plans and wait it out ‘til deadline dawn by curling up in this chair instead (more on that later).
Though my flat American ass can barely climb the stairs without stumbling, I’ve actually considered leaping onto the second floor’s roof from the third floor’s porch to then slide down the aluminum overhang and swing into our balcony by using the momentum of falling off the edge of the building. That’s how badly I want to write for you. I’ve also tried “spider walking” up a weird corner of the building (a la Spike TV’s Most Extreme Elimination). Take a guess as to how well that turned out.
My best idea’s been to cling to the window sills by my fingers and toes and edge-along about eight feet between two balconies with balustrades as loose as a second grader’s front teeth. I actually practiced this a bunch of times on windows that are not two stories high, going so far as to huff and puff dramatically to simulate anxiety.
But when it came to the real deal, I only got so far as the first step—still close enough to grasp at the railing if I slipped (which I did). It took my hands crunching into a mass grave for geckos, corpses cocooned in pigeon poop, for me to finally realize, “Who the hell am I kidding?”
I need to watch more Russian parkour videos. Or better yet, not lock myself out from my office so I can finish my work and go home to watch that insanely hot gun nut on FPS Russia (also on YouTube—just search “Russian arms guy” and click on the video with 21.5 million hits). Now there’s a Russian I’d like to keep my eye on.
OK, lesson number two: Thwap. I know it’s now between 2:30 and 3am because that’s around the time the downstairs neighbors get their Maui News tossed through the gate. I’m here at the office too late too often (notwithstanding being locked out) so, like the church bells, I’ve learned audio cues to alert me of the hour. Our office’s outside is ensconced with circ boxes and old furniture, all but one one relegated item proving any usefulness: an old upholstered armchair (that I’ve, sadly, already had many late night naps on).
Since I don’t much like the idea of Blattaria B-52s scuttling over my toes while I’m trying to catch a few winks, I’ve curled up in fetal position to lessen my chances. This, I’ve discovered, sucks. (And furthermore does nothing to deter cockroaches). I’m sure it’s a comfy position when you’re a fetus in the womb, but when decades and disease have battered your desk jockey-atrophied body, it’s the furthest thing from appropriate or healthy.
Also, it’s goddamned cold…
Hence, lesson three: I’ve never looked into whether there’s any truth to the ol’ tale that Mainland governments buy their bums one-way tickets to Hawaii so they don’t have to deal with them in the winters. The idea doesn’t seem that far-fetched, but it’s lame—if nothing else—for the bum who’s supposedly escaping the cold. Sure, it doesn’t really freeze here, but it s-s-sure f-f-fucking f-f-feels like it. I’m debating whether or not I should walk down to the Banyan Tree Park to see if any of the resident bums are still awake, and ask them their trick for keeping warm. If the answer’s booze, sign me up.
Finally, four: You know, I used to really like this chair—but for the life of me, I can’t remember why. It’s sunken in the middle, missing a leg and stinks of sweaty mildew. I’m trying to use the cushions to create some sort of wind block/blanket, but all that’s done is reveal 15 years of myriad MauiTime crumbs and a petrified freedom fry. I can already hear a fleet of Blattaria winging their way here for a feast.
It must be nearing predawn now, because the deep pitch is beginning to pale and the traffic’s picking up. I’m still covered in the soot of Gecko Hell but now smell like mold, too. And I really have to pee. Thank goodness Boss Pignataro and Salesman Brad-Ass arrive at 7am like clockwork. It can’t be more than a couple hours away…
Maybe by then, I’ll have learned another new thing.