Hmm. I've fallen terribly behind on my O'ahu diary, I'm afraid. Chock it up to the combination of sun-induced lacksadaisia and a looming article deadline. OK: casting my mind back to several weeks ago, when I left off.
We had better luck escaping Honolulu on our second attempt, D's next day off. This time we ventured straight up the windward side (the island's eastern coast) to a beach in the Mormon town of Laie.
After the crowded shores of Waikiki, where the sea is lovely and the smooth sand is obscured by all the bodies lounging, flirting, playing, drinking, smoking on it, the beach around Laie was just how I like it: deserted.
It was also, sad to say, quite dirty - it must be a trick of the tide, but huge swathes of sand were marred by trashy flotsam. Not, luckily, the section where I camped out in the sun with my books and my tube of SPF 70.
D has been reading too many Hawai'i Five-O scripts at his job, with the unfortunate effect that, where I see sun-bleached beach towns and family picnics, he sees opportunities for police intervention. When he cautioned me to choose our beach carefully, lest we become embroiled in a local gang war, I knew he needed a day off to swim in the ocean. And there he is, a tiny speck in the first photo, having his first total submersion in the Pacific ocean on this trip.
The beach, I hasten to tell you, is patrolled not by the 5-0 nor by rival gangs but by a group of extremely territorial roosters. Chickens seem right at home in the sand, to my surprise.
I continue my evening walks all week along Waikiki beach, tucking a flower behind my ear each evening and seeing how far I get before it flies off into the surf. Sometimes D is still at work at my preferred sunset hour, but sometimes he comes with, exhausted.
Every once in a while we remember that we are on LOST's terra natalis, usually when we see a rope, half-buried in the sand, leading off God-knows-where. "You know what's at the end of that?" I say to D, "Alison Janney in a toga."
The evening's the most peaceful time, especially around the lagoon outside of our hotel, where the water is somehow colder than the actual ocean fifty feet away. Every day I see a different bride being led out to have her wedding photograph taken here, and I wonder about the industry of the image - all this endless sameness on what is supposed to be (surely) a unique day.
But it's a hard image to resist, eh?