On One Hand

July 14, 2005


Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 9:05 am
Tags: ,

I’m walking through the sea-filled cone of an ancient, extinct volcano, now protected to ensure continued tourism as a popular “nature preserve” packed with thousands of sunbathers and a sheltered coral reef. Naturally, I’m minding what’s to see in Hawai’i – I’m checking out all the young guys on the beach. There aren’t many guys here at the bay – most tourists are Japaneese families and middle aged white people – but I occasionally see something interesting, stooped over with younger siblings to look at a sea-urchin or lying back on a beach towel with a girl. When I get close, I’m usually embarrased to find that he’s a middle-aged father of four, or worse, a sixteen-year-old kid, which makes me feel creepy and pedophilic. Once in a while I get a glimpse of someone really attractive, like the 20-something twins I saw renting snorkels and flippers at the lone stone hut in the valley.

I’ve read the books and I know all the stories about how men find sex in faraway places. I’ve heard about the public bathrooms and special parks, the secret eyeball rituals and esoteric languages that match guys with other guys who have never yet met but find each other in the dark to enjoy a few minutes of casual erotic exitement. That’s not quite what I’m looking for, but I would love to have a fun, friendly, short-lived fling here in Hawai’i; maybe something resembling the opening beach scene in Grease. It all seemse a little far-fetched to me – all the people I stare at just stare back, or nervously turn away wondering if the skinny guy in the dark sunglasses is looking at them or out at the ocean behind them.

I’m not really equipped to hook up here, even if I wanted to. (I have the condoms of course – though In three years they’ve never been used, they still have two more before they expire and I care them with me always.) I’m just not built to attract right now. I’ve got an awful farmer’s tan that screams “tourist” and isn’t attractive to anyone, except maybe farmers, which my sister dutifully called to my attention the moment I first took off my shirt. And I haven’t worked out in several months, so my stick-thin figure with no musculature looks awkward on anyone over the age of twelve. I considered refering to it as the “British rock star” look, but that label seems a little out-of-place in Hawai’i, and in any case I lack the requred “three grams of cocaine in my pocket” to complete the persona. So I’m just looking like the skinny, very pale, sunburned and peeling white tourist kid from Denver who looks like he could use a protein supplement. And anyone who made that assumtpion would be dead-on.

Hawaii is beautiful, though. Before arriving I was skeptical of its allure, expecting an over-hyped, touristy upper-class resort island with lots of big money and little depth. That aspect is here, in some isolated parts of the state (like Weikiki and Maui), but I’ve found that the island has a lot of character. Hawai’i uniquely diverse, with “mixed race” as the dominant surveyed ethnicity for locals, and the only state in the U.S. that doesn’t list “white” as the largest ethnic group. Honolulu is a big city with hundreds of ornate japaneese-style sky-rises, and the flora, which creeps in from hills and gardens, highway medians, countless planters, window boxes, and cracks in the pavement, is colorful and exhotic. Islanders are friendly to the brink of absurdity, casually ignoring details and giggling frequently in conversations. At the resteraunt we ate in the first night here, the hostess’ name was “Punanani,” which made me laugh to myself, and she, unaware of the joke, laughed back. This is a place I could easily get used to.

(Sorry about spelling errors – 15 minute limit on computer use and no time to check.)



  1. I’m glad you’re having a good time.
    I am laughing right now.

    Comment by coldrainyday — July 14, 2005 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

    • Punani

      It’s Hawaiian for “Beautiful Flower.”

      Comment by ononehand — July 20, 2005 @ 4:24 am | Reply

      • Re: Punani

        Did the locals give you a Hawaiian name?
        Because, that’d be cool.

        Comment by coldrainyday — July 21, 2005 @ 1:39 am

      • Re: Punani

        My Hawaiian name is “Makaio,” which would be pronounced “Mah-KA-EE-oh.” The locals didn’t give it to me directly, but the miniature novelty items resembling liscense-plates in a gift shop did. You can also find your Hawaiian name here.

        Comment by ononehand — July 21, 2005 @ 3:31 am

  2. most of what i know about hawaii i know from paul theroux books. i hope i can get there one day. supposedly, you must have coconut creme pie and a mai tai while you’re there. hey, did you know that per capita hawaii consumes more SPAM than any other state in the union?

    Comment by randomcha — July 14, 2005 @ 11:21 pm | Reply

    • I didn’t have the coconut pie or the “mai tai,” but I did know that fact about Islanders spam. All the locals talk about it.

      Comment by ononehand — July 20, 2005 @ 4:26 am | Reply

  3. Hawai`i… mmmmm… hot guys. I know what it is like to be on family vacations and cruise for guys on the beaches. The skinny pale boy… reminds me of myself. I would definitely be looking for you on the beach 😉 Have fun and be safe.

    Comment by zendocrescendo — July 15, 2005 @ 2:10 am | Reply

    • I gave it up shortly after posting. And now I am home with no hookups to remember. I did get confused for a local when some young guy tried to sell me weed on a streetcorner.

      It was fun, I was quite safe (“abstinence is the safest sex!”), and too bad you weren’t there to find me. If only I had looked up “Hawai’i” on some livejournal communities, I’d have lots of contacts there. I am learning more and more how useful livejournal can be when making connections.

      Comment by ononehand — July 20, 2005 @ 4:30 am | Reply

  4. Hope its not too much of a buzz kill being there with your parents. Take lots of pictures and post them!

    Comment by tempur_tempur — July 15, 2005 @ 7:24 pm | Reply

    • Toward the end of the trip I was ready to rip my hair out when my parents were around. But I had a good time. I took photos with my grandfather’s digital camera so I’ll have to wait for him to email them to me.

      Comment by ononehand — July 20, 2005 @ 4:32 am | Reply

  5. i’m so glad that you’re actually enjoying yourself. it’s great to find depth in unexpected places.

    Comment by bradfordneal — July 19, 2005 @ 4:03 pm | Reply

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