I was ready, and waiting. If one more person asked me how my day had been over dinner Saturday night, I would tell them I was going to kill myself. But for the first time in five days, nobody was asking. All of a sudden, nobody cared! Finally—finally!—an elderly couple came over. "We had to say hello to our tablemates from last night!" they chirped. "How was your day?"
"I'm going to kill myself," I answered, happy at last.
They paused for the slightest of moments.
"Well, you've got the perfect little escort!" responded they, to which my son, perfect little escort that he is, smiled his modest and charming smile.
Everyone at Kona Village Resort on the Big Island was nice, nice, nice! Nobody was even a little bit bad. Even the guys who staff the beach shack are given drug tests before they're gelded. It was like being on vacation with the Bradys, or with my really truly lovely neighbors across the street, except I'm pretty sure most of the folks at Kona Village still believe in evolution.
I'm not cut out for resort living. My five-star digs, in the most understated and oldest-money of ways, with thoughtful touches taking the place of gauche opulence, had left me feeling oppressed.
Kona Village is very popular, and probably most of you would like it, but then most of you voted for George W. Bush, so I can hardly credit your taste.
The kindly folks at the Big Island Convention and Visitors Bureau of Visitors and Such had very sweetly arranged complimentary digs and events for several days of our six-day vacation—though I doubt they'll be doing that again. For the most part, they were right on target: the Sheraton Keauhou Bay was great because it was central and had a shitty beach next to its stunning lava grounds, so we were forced to go adventuring during the day but had a lovely and lux place to come home to, where we could watch dolphins from our lanai. But at Kona Village, in our big and beautiful cage, we might as well have gone to Palm Springs with whale watching, or a classier (and without a single single) Club Med.
Oh, at first it was delightful: the Polynesian huts, the lack of locks on the doors, the glass-bottomed boat skippered by the leathery-skinned and incredibly knowledgeable blonde guide, the little box of free detergent should you get a yen for laundry. Even when I saw the group getting ukulele lessons on the terrace and flashed back hard onto the Catskills circa 1963 (the knowledge of which and for which I have Patrick Swayze to thank), I found it charmingly retro.
But 36 hours later I realized I wouldn't have my own private dance instructor to sex me and then leave me for Baby's youthful Peace Corps idealism—and not even the waiters were trying. I called my mom. "Nobody wants to have sex with me!" I wailed, collect. "It's all families and old people! And these mothers: They're not like that with their kids in private, right? [whiny] 'I have sand in my shoooe! I have sand in my shoooe!' [perky like a stewardess in the days before stewardesses got mean] 'Well, let's sit right down and get that bad sand out of there!' That's for my benefit, right? They aren't really like that, right?"
"No, they're not!" my mom assured me. "Had a few drinks?"
"Couple," I admitted, and then I perked up myself. "Those mango coladas are delicious!"
And they were!
My gay noticed it the second he picked us up from John Wayne.
"You didn't get laid!" he announced nervously, knowing just how likely I was to take it out on anyone in my path.
"You could tell just by looking at me?" I asked sadly back.
He tsked, drawing it out. "Yup."
What the hell kind of vacation is that?
Aside from the fact that I didn't actually work?
In fact, I worked so little—even less than usual!—that I even changed the station every time the president came on my radio to remind me again how untorturing are we, and I barely even started screaming in my head that in that case, there's no need for his administration to fight John McCain's amendment to outlaw torture. You know. Which they're doing.
I can't hear you! La la la!
I didn't even read the papers.
So . . . anything new, my sweets? Are we all having a rocking good time? Have the president's numbers further plummeted? Perhaps the governor got a swift kick in the ass?
I told you all not to vote for him. (Both hims.) Elections have consequences! Asswipes!
* * *
Normally I would have been gone for a month, and you all would have been out of your heads with worry—just like my mom, who once called my boss when I didn't have cell service for three days. I had 33 messages—several from my boss, my mother and each of the 11 or so friends she'd contacted—when I finally drove into range.
"Oh!" you (plural) would have fretted. "We surely hope Rebecca hasn't been fired again!" But not to worry: we're saving my next dismissal for a few months hence, once our merger's approved by the DOJ.
This time I was gone only six days, and four and a half of them were great. We drove and hiked through spectacular rain forest, we peered down into Kilauea's black craters (my boy and I are suckers for tourist traps and any kind of national park), we picked up a hippie in Pohoiki.
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Boots came from Humboldt, with all that implies.
And we found hot springs and orchids and peeling, shabby towns, and we took an opulent five-hour snorkel trip on the spanking-new Hula Kai. For those unfamiliar with the Big Island's topography, it's home to 11 of the world's 13 climate zones but can be roughly divided between the wet, beautiful Hilo side and the dry, desert Scottsdale—I mean Kailua/Kona/Kohala—side, with its fenced resorts and staid vacationers who go to Hawaii but don't like rain.
Whatever. All I know is there are no hippies at Kona Village. Nor all that would imply.