Monday, October 10, 2011

the Monastery

I live in a house that my roommates refer to as the Monastery. It is not an actual monastery, but a spacious house on a hill with a magnificent view of Diamond Head where a bunch of single, Christian males spend a significant amount of their free time in prayer and quiet introspection.

On any given day, I can see whether or not Cliffs - about three to five miles away - is breaking. Right now it's not. This morning is cloudy and the streets are slick black, but the sheen should disappear at around noon, along with the clouds, to reveal the sunny splendor of East Honolulu.

This town is very special to me. Waialae Avenue, just a mile down the hill, has its own distinct character. Not that other streets don't -- Kapahulu has the feel of a small town, and then a beach city as you travel from mauka to makai. Kalakaua, though rife with upscale tourist traps, has retained some classic integrity with cobblestone and some very expensive street light fixtures. These avenues stand in contrast to the streets coursing through new cities like Kapolei. This town looks like it's trying to prove to the other towns that it's legit. I don't mean to discount its potential to be the economic hub of West Oahu, but it's like young America, prior to World War I, trying to find its place among longer-standing world powers. It's like a pretentious middle manager whose ego might be the proper size for him ten years from now ... maaaayybe. But until then, he seeks to prove what he suspects - but does not yet fully know - about himself. He reminds me of Kapolei.

And Kapolei sometimes reminds me of ... me.

I guess I love Waialae because it's all the things I want to be. Old school, yet hip. Busy, yet laid back. Professional, yet approachable. Upscale, yet attainable and generally fun to be around. In spite of all its paradoxes, what you see is what you get. It's an honest town, tried and true. Genuine. At least, that's the way I see it. And in time, that's the way I'd like people to see me.