In case any of you were curious — sporty camaros were NOT made to sleep in.
The reclineability of the front seats is very un-impressive. No worries; I typically end up curled up in the back seat anyway. But here’s the thing — to fit on the back seat, I basically have to be curled up so tight that my knees touch my nose. Not the most ideal sleeping position (if it’s your preferred sleeping contortion, I apologize).
Rewind. I haven’t set the stage very well for this segment of gypsying.
Remember that time a couple months ago when I gypsied to Maui and came back without my heart? (It opted to stay behind somewhere along the lush jungle road leading to paradise that just so happens to bear my name. Can’t blame it, right?) Well, living without my heart and that lush tropical ginger-scented jungle is proving difficult, so I’ve decided it’s time to continue this epic Hawaiian adventure and follow the rainbows (literally. Maui has even more rainbows than Oahu, somehow.)
Since personally constructed beach shacks on personally claimed sections of beach aren’t allowed, I booked a last-minute flight to Maui this week to scope things out a bit more and (hopefully) secure a home for myself and my business.
The reason for the last-minute-ness was a bright yellow house with exploding colors, a fuzzy cat, and extremely low rent… a few of my favorite things!
Catching this flight involved dashing out of a dentist’s chair mid-exam with a dozen apologies and promises to bring cookies when I return to finish the appointment at some point in the near future, attempts to bribe my way out of a parking garage, and some impressive (or possibly questionable) driving tactics. But, I made it and I landed in Kahalui an hour before my appointed time to visit the yellow house… which leads to the sporty camaro.
I like small cars. But I don’t particularly like sports cars, even though they’re small(ish), especially the ones that look like they should have a dude who wears cologne and puts gel in his hair behind the wheel, not a barefooted, white-haired island girl. And most of them look like that.
But there it was, my assigned vehicle at the rental agency. Fact: They charge you to switch cars. I checked. And I suspect they frown on their cars doubling as hotels, so I didn’t want to give the explanation that it looked terribly uncomfortable for the sleeping portion of its use.
So I took the car, dubbed him Javier, and set off for the upcountry where I knew that both of us would stick out like a pea in chocolate mousse — him for being that kind of car in that kind of place and me for being in that kind of car. (Positive sidenote for the car: It jumps curbs and sidewalks remarkably well.)
The yellow house was even more colorful than I’d imagined with the floors, walls, trim, door frames, and doors painted in an eclectic mix of every bright color you could imagine. Tapestries draped the oversize windows, and the walls were covered in a mix of art mediums ranging from pottery sculptures to photographs to oil paintings. Incense permeated the colorful home… scratch that, the entire street… and African jazz poured from the speakers in the corner, located somewhere amidst the piles and piles of old records. The cat, half persian and half siamese, was a furry delight with a definite personality. The other tenant was the ubiquitous burnt-out 50-something hippy dude with the medical card that was obviously put to good and extensive use… A wonderful character with a wonderful soul looking for inspiration in the form of a new, young, interesting (…and female…) roommate. I’ve met him so many times before.
We chilled amidst the tapestries and cat hair and incense-heavy air and played ukeleles for a couple hours, and then I headed out to continue my evening with Javier.
Since my departure, the ubiquitous hippy dude has been smiling at me ever few hours via text and facebook.
What is the appropriate response to electronic smiley faces? I went with none.
The fun thing about sleeping in your car is that unless you park while it’s still light, you never know what you’re going to wake up to. I like to park for the night as near to the beach as possible. Talk about a room with a view! Wealthy residential areas bordering the coast are perfect.
I turned down a random street somewhere in-between Kahului and Paia and found an ideal spot at the end of a residential street where I could actually pull onto the beach. I had no idea what the beach looked like, but it was peaceful and dark and it sounded good. My difficulties began when I got out of the car to walk down the beach a bit and returned to find my car full of mosquitoes. Being trapped in a confined space with a bunch of bloodsuckers all night is not ideal. But my efforts to remove them failed, so we settled in for a cozy night together. (In my mind at least, staying in my car is the “safe” option rather than stringing up my hammock along the beach with the homeless folks and druggies. But oh the hours I spent this night wishing for my hammock…)
Fast forward now back to the beginning of this post. This car was not made to sleep in. I could go through an hour-by-hour description of the very up-close-and-personal way I explored this car during the sleepless night, but basically, I ended up curled up in the trunk with the back seat pulled forward a bit so I didn’t suffocate. I’d never slept in a trunk before. I’d never been in a trunk before (Smartie’s trunk doesn’t really, count, since I sort of considered it an unofficial back seat). It was interesting. And I was, unfortunately, awake for every minute of it, counting down the hours and seconds to sunrise.
And then, it happened… the golden rim moved up past the clouds waking up the beach and presenting me with a magical world that made the night worth it. After spending a couple hours waking up at my favorite upcountry coffee shop, I headed to the cowboy town (Makawao) to meet up with someone to see a second house.
His vintage, dark brown cadillac reminded me of something a drug lord in a movie from the 50’s would drive. He said GPS’ typically had trouble navigating their way up the mountain, so we met at the base of it so I could follow him up and he insisted on taking me to breakfast first, which I was definitely not going to say no to. I devoured a massive plate of vegetarian eggs benedict that was the best breakfast I’ve had in a very long while, and meanwhile learned more than one could ever hope to about the local conspiracy theories on the island, the deathly toxicity of Maui and the other Hawaiian islands, turtle euthanization cover-ups, etc.
After my stomach couldn’t hold anymore, I followed him up the winding mountain road to his 2.5 million dollar home. It was massive, and could have been at least five separate homes. Set high up on the mountainside, it had pure mountain air that reminded me of Switzerland, a huge yard with endless gardening possibilities, cozy little lofts in almost every room, and otherworldly views that I won’t even try to describe. He has divided it into a few different units and has renters in some, but I got to see every nook and cranny of the place. Turns out he wasn’t looking for another renter, but rather invited me to move in for free and help him sell some of his art, manage the property, and become president of a new business he was starting in exchange (it would even be named after me… “Hana’s Beach and Aloha Wear”). I slightly started to consider it until I realized that he never stopped. Talking, that is. Three and a half hours and multiple attempts to leave later, I was finally backing Javier out of the driveway when he chased down after me to ask to take me for a ride to “show me what the car was capable of when driven by a professional race car driver.” (professional race car driver??) My polite decline was followed up with a dinner invitation and warnings of the dangers of the town I was headed to next. (Ki-hell… aka, Kihei). I did test out the speed of a camaro on the drive back down that mountain.
Once upon a time in the not very distant past, someone told me that I sell my soul to live in the geographic location that I want and pay the rent that I want. (I prefer to see the “situations” I sometimes find myself in as interesting adventures…he saw them differently.)
I realized there was quite a bit of validity to that critique so I took it to heart and set out to change my ways. So no, I will not be taking the colorful and fragrant and oh-so-affordable hippy house with the equally colorful and fragrant hippy dude and his plethora of smiley faces. Nor will I be taking up free residence in the 2.5 million dollar home on the mountain side with its otherworldly views, cozy lofts, and endless gardening space. Because my soul is my own, and it values peace and beauty and safety and positive vibes over cheapness and ideal locations in less-than-ideal situations.
But, folks, the good news is that I have only six more hours in the trunk of this sporty camaro before I get to meet a girl and her dog and a little beachside spot that I have a feeling just might be home soon.
And… there it is, just like clockwork 🙂 Smiles to you too, hippy dude. You have the home of my dreams; I guess I’d be smiling a lot, too.