Where The Partying Never Ended
Last night I had a dream whose meaning was easy to interpret: I miss the good old days of insouciant living in the Big Island rainforest where I owned a home for 21 years.
In the dream two male neighbors and I are inside my Big Island house and outside it's raining buckets. Bored, we're looking for any excuse to "par-tay" and I call Lynn, a good-time girl who is always up for a party. I tell her to quickly assemble as many of her girlfriends as she can reach by phone and I will pick them up in my truck within the hour.
I back out of my driveway and plow into a large puddle two feet deep in running water, but my 4-wheel-drive truck is built high and dry and I'm used to driving through flash floods.
On lava roads I weave my way to Lynn's place and put two girls in the truck cab with me and four more in the camper shell over the truck bed. That gives us guys a nice ratio of 2 to 1 in girls -- my kind of situation. Someone passes a joint around, the truck is filled with giggling laughter and I hear the sound of beer cans popping opening just before I suddenly wake up.
That scenario is closer to a memory than a dream. In 21 years I must have participated in 2,000 parties in the rainforest, an average of two per week. We celebrated anything and everything: legal holidays, house raisings, elections, weddings, births, divorces, deaths (in the style of Irish wakes), religious conversions, a mole suddenly appearing on someone's backside, etc.
The parties ranged in size from scores of people to just me and two chicks (more about that later.) At some parties I played rhythm guitar with a local garage band, at others I simply danced the night away.
Most of my friends were able to do so much partying because they were lazy bums, but not me. I had two businesses going simultaneously which left me with a lot of free time because I set them up to do just that.
One was a video business I ran from my home. Using expensive equipment I bought, I took videos of weddings, school graduations and other public events. I even shot a few births (yuck!) and I made music video demo tapes for aspiring rock bands. I edited customer-videotaped material by adding titles, dissolves, fancy cuts and other special effects. I got jobs mostly by word of mouth and notices on bulletin boards (no advertising expenses) and I charged an outrageous hourly rate.
The other business was importing the seeds of exotic tropical plants from Latin America. My partner, Russell, and I made a deal with a wholesaler on separate trips to Costa Rica. He got his seeds from all over Central and South America.
Russell and I set up the business to practically run itself. Once a week we took turns restocking the packaged seeds in garden shops and department stores that had gardening sections. We also took advantage of a boom in landscaping businesses driven by a bonanza in construction of new luxury hotels on the west side of the island.
Our markup was 100% and we made a decent income with a minimum of work. Combined with my video business and the fact that I paid no rent or mortgage, I earned enough money to cover all my expenses and party whenever I felt like it.
One particular "party" I remember fondly involved only me and two women almost young enough to be my daughters. One was my neighbor's 20-year-old wife, Jeanette, and the other was her houseguest-visitor from Oregon, 19-year-old Susan. Both comely lasses, they were stranded at home after my neighbor Stan and Susan's boyfriend Mike left on a two-day excursion aboard a small commerical fishing boat.
The girls wandered over to my place, whining about being bored to tears. I suggested the three of us go on a sightseeing drive around the eastern side of the island and they jumped at the chance. I loaded the truck with an ice chest full of cold beer, rolled a couple of joints and off we went to see paradise, Jeanette and I acting as tour guides for Susan.
Crikey, it was fun! We skinny-dipped under a 100-foot waterfall, soaked in a volcanic hot pool, picked wild flowers in the jungle, bodysurfed and sunbathed at pristine beaches, explored every dirt road we could negotiate in my truck. We all got shitfaced in the process -- two girls competing for my attention and hanging on my every word as I explained Hawaiian history (some of it even true.)
That night they both fell asleep at my place watching TV. And, no, I didn't take advantage of them while they slumbered. I have scruples, really I do.
"The earth was made round so we can't see too far down the road and know what is coming." -- Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa