Makani recommended I try playing in front of Matsumoto’s General Store or Aoki Shave Ice. The North Shore is famous for it’s shave ice, so busloads of Japanese (and non Japanese, too) tourists gather in unending out the door lines in front of both shops, especially Matsumoto’s. I inquired inside, and the spare English of a worker denied me permission, so after wandering to a couple other places and being denied I ducked into a church where I heard classic rock being played. I sat in a pew and listened a while – at this church, apparently, they leave the P.A. and sound system out for anyone to use, so people constantly drift in and out to play together or prepare for gigs. How wonderful! I was taken aback on hearing the guitarist’s name – Terrence – and when we met each other a few songs later he happily noted the good luck that must be emanating from such a rare occurrence – two Terrences under one roof. When his guitar’s receiver broke they asked me to play a few songs, which I did and they enjoyed.
I’d ducked in mostly to get out of the passing shower, and now that it’d quit I walked back to Makani’s shop. We chatted a bit and a few moments later her husband David – he just as friendly as his wife; a perfect complement – arrived with three of their four children: Mantain, Kala, and Lotus. I’d already been enjoined to sing a few songs. Customers started coming thick and fast – as we’d spoken there was but one in the beginning – people smiled, chatted happily, listened in line… My throat felt off because of the vog, no doubt, so I played but briefly, and Makani gave Kala a couple dollars to give me “So that when they see a street musician they know what to do!” I’d told her I wanted to head to the library and she offered a ride via David, which I accepted.
But they were so busy with the sudden influx of customers (which I flatter myself as having a hand in) that it was a couple of hours before we left. I didn’t mind at all. I watched the kids while they ran the shop – Mantain with his piercing Hawai’i sea under palpable rays of sunlight five minutes before sunset blue eyes and chubby face, Lotus shy and quiet with a tendency to erupt into tantrums over tiny things, Kala slim and tall and astonishingly mature being used to looking after her siblings. Kala finished her schoolwork while I played with Mantain, then we played hide and seek, and freeze tag. I, of course, was the permanent “it” for the latter game, and my role in the first was mostly to keep them from wandering too far away from the shop. Delightful fun. Basically I got to play with delightful delightful children in the warm Hawai’ian sun – warm but not hot – what could be better? One of the customer’s two kids joined us for the game of tag – everywhere was apparently base so that they just jumped on the sidewalk and back into base and I made to tag them during that split second of vulnerability. Simple, but so simply fun. Just before we left Makani took us all to the next door ice cream shop. In such a small, friendly town they of course knew the couple who ran that shop and procured the ice cream free. Mine was a pretzel icecream, with pretzel sticks slightly soggy within the icecream and surprisingly delicious.
Kala felt very sad to see me go and promised to write a poem for me to write a song to on parting at the library. I checked out a couple of books and then got a touch lost on the walk back to Tom’s house – which afforded me incredible views of the unreal layered mountains behind the gray mist of near but far rain.
Earnings: $2.00, 30 minutes
Song of the Day: A Thousand Post-Its – Terrence Ho