The Missing Link

I was watching this YouTube video about a guy who goes through bouts of depression. He did a lot of drugs to expand on his artistic creativity, but that took him away from society, which he called an illusion. I tend to agree. The video didn't state how long he had done this, but he decided to re-enter the illusion and rejoin the human race.

At the end of the short video, he said that life has more to offer than happiness and that he wanted to pursue something more fulfilling.

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Before I started my illustrious career in writing, I knew I wanted to be an artist of some sort. So I tried everything from drawing, acting, poetry, martial arts, etc. before I careened into writing. Diving right into it, I wrote almost every day, creating my world, free writing to meet my characters. I asked cool questions like: How do these people sleep and have sex? or Where do they pee and poo? or What do I call an apple in this world? Apple was the answer. Deep thinking here, folks.

However, there were moments where I didn't feel happy nor content. So I naturally questioned my passion for writing, for storytelling. I should be grateful for having the freedom to pursue something, anything. But I wasn't.

Then it hit me. No. Not my writing. I was linking the activity of writing to happiness. Those two things should not be linked because they have nothing to do with each other. It's kinda like linking the climate control knob in your car to the volume of your stereo. The knob turns the fan on and off. It does nothing to modulate the car speakers.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Frankl was a Holocaust survivor. From his experiences of being a concentration inmate, he discovered that people are able to experience happiness or peace even in the direst situations. That circumstanth doth noth determinith yorth worldeth viewth . Sorry. Something was stuck in my teeth. Your circumstance doesn't determine your worldview.

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I had written about a woman whom I named Miss Hates Myguts. She had chosen her friends like how someone might choose their dining ware. The right cutlery flanking the perfect plates must match the serving dishes. The gleaming statues of glassware must highlight the richness of that setting. So, too, in this way had Hates Myguts chosen her friends. She surrounded herself with the right kind of people because they represented her in a way that matched what she thought her world should look like. And I'm the dirty, broken dish that did not fit in her world. But there's a fallacy to that thinking.

Famed life coach, Michael Neill, once said on his radio show, "Rearranging the furniture on the Titanic ain't gonna help, sucka." OK, I added some ghetto flare.

Often we link things to our happiness. If I get this job, I'll be happy. If I get this chic, I'll be the man. Once I roar down the street with my loud ass motorbike, people will think I'm the badass ass in the world. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Think of it this way. A CEO of a Forturne 500 company is no more human than a homeless man ambling down the street. One has more stuff than the other. But that has no real meaning except that he has more stuff. And we already know money can't buy happiness.

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I apply this missing link to money with security. The more of it I have, the more secure I feel. That's OK for now, but what happens if I lose all of my wealth? I'll feel incredibly vulnerable, broken, worthless as a human. There lies the crux of greed. Money is not the root of all evil. It's fear. We fear not having enough. So what do we do? We hoard. And the only thing money is good for is buying stuff. Because security is an illusion. You can have all the armed guards in the world, but that doesn't guarantee your safety. And if you need all of that security, meaning the fear has taken over your life, then you'll never be happy or be at peace.

And money can't buy happiness because it's a state of being. Not a tangible object.

So why pursue anything if we can be happy no matter the circumstances? That's where the fulfilling part comes in. When I dove into writing, I was fully engaged with my creativity. There's joy in that. If someone loves farming, then they love working the land, tending to their animals, reaping the fruits of their labor. I know that last part is cliché, but I'm not a farmer and don't know what else they do. 

Being engaged with whatever moves you fills the soul. It's heaven.

An Exploration into Mayhem

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When an action/horror flick comes out called Mayhem, starring a male Asian lead from an incredibly popular zombie series, I have no choice but to watch it. Steven Yeun stars in Joe Lynch's movie about a virus gone wild in a law firm's towering skyscraper. The entire building gets quarantined until the virus runs its course, 24 hours. Although the virus, unlike on the Walking Dead, doesn't change their human hosts permanently, it does remove inhibition, leading to unhinged acts of violence, lust, and more violence. Yeun's character, Derek, is trapped in this building, an exec in said firm. And to make it interesting Derek is involuntarily chosen to be the fall guy for a costly mistake the law firm made. He decides he needs a face-to-face with the sadistic CEO, no virus required, to resolve this issue. So he has to reach the top floor, negotiating–fighting really–the corporate lackeys who are overworked, under appreciated, and fucking pissed off. Good times.

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I enjoyed the movie. I can relate. Not because Yeun is Asian, but because the character has to reconcile his choice of living the corporate life instead of delving into his life's passion in the arts.

I work a day job in the cold, ugly corporate world, which is soul-sucking. I'm a bit fortunate because I get to work from home. But I still have to act within the confines of political correctness, which I absolutely despise. At night I ride my mechanical steed to a Starbucks, sit down in my spot, and dive into my world of fantasy. Freedom!

The film Mayhem seems to pit corporate life and passion in a fight to either drain Derek's soul or save it. So what does one do? Work a black hole of a day job to pay the bills? Or be a starving artist and try to live life to the fullest? Derek's trek up the building seems to symbolize this internal conflict. Kind of an homage to Bruce Lee's Game of Death, the actual version, not the one that was released by Columbia Pictures. So what would you choose? Soul-sucking job? Or starving artist?

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One of my favorite stories is Michelangelo's day job. They had day jobs back in the fifteenth century? I know, right? Looking at his paintings and sculptures, it's almost impossible to see that his true passion laid in sculpting. To say he was a master at it is insulting. Many argue he was the GOAT. No, not a four-legged sheep with horns. Greatest of all time. So what was his day job? Barista at an Italian bakery? No. His regular day job was a painter. And not the kind that painted your house. Well...unless it was the ceiling and walls of the Sistine Chapel. And from what little I know, when the Pope commissioned him to do this, he had to finagle the deal to ensure that Michelangelo would finish painting the Chapel.

Now Lynch wasn't clear in his film that quitting your day job was a requirement to follow your passions. That would be a ridiculous notion. And parables such as this doesn't paint a clear map of how to negotiate life. That's our job as individuals. But the film does illustrate something that I've always prescribed to. And that is to follow your dreams. The opposition always states that the chances of making it is really, really, really low. Three really's indicate how low the chances are of being successful, according to pundits and pessimists. However...

"Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey.” –Alex Noble, author.

In other words, the journey is the reward.

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Hell naw. I want riches. Fame. Glory!

As a not-starving writer, I totally get wanting people to read and love and know my work. I crave it. It's probably why I love my writing group. They're the few people who've read my stuff, and I get to hear how awesome...or bad my work is. (Listen to a podcast where we talked about the writing process, our group dynamics, and how masturbation is very similar to writing–for me anyway.)

The fact of life is that not everybody gets to make it big. But most people don’t even try. And to make it big the work has to be done. So why not enjoy the work–the journey–as we stroll toward whatever life may present?

It's a lot like sex. The goal of sex is rarely to make a child. Hence condoms and birth control. Though, sex is the only way to make a child. That's the reason why it feels so good. It pulls the curtain to the Hell that will come when the parents have to raise the child. Sorta like having dessert before dinner. Joking. Eh. Kinda. But sex feels good because we're connecting with our partners, exploring in adult play, trying to get each other off. Again the reward is in the journey.

Don't Be You

In the Asian culture, being yourself isn't something that is advocated. If anything, Asian parents want their children to fill some sort of picture perfect checklist of academic accomplishments so they can someday go to an excellent college and get an excellent paying job. Anything less is failure, and things like affection and self esteem are useless. The book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, written by Amy Chua is a perfect example of an Asian mother attempting this very thing.

To be fair, not all Asian parents are like this. But my family were.

For a long time growing up, I tried to fulfill this image of a smart Asian kid. To say I had mixed results is putting it kindly. School was something that I just didn't appreciate, though I loved learning. Still do. School didn't teach the stuff that I really liked. Nor did it nor my family really encourage me to find what I liked. I joined the varsity volleyball team in my sophomore year of high school. That was an accomplishment. To say I was the shortest member was putting it kindly. But my grades were slipping, so my brother tried to get me kicked off the team. I loved it too much to quit.

As I started my college career, I declared to be a business major, which I hated, but being a doctor or a lawyer was not in the cards. I wanted to do something creative, so I began to study acting and delved into martial arts. I wrote stories, did pencil drawings, and lived in my imagination. All were deemed a waste of time by my family. Still...I continued my double life of a dutiful college student while exploring my artistic side, rebelling against this stereotypical Asian image.

What I've learned is that I'm not that image, but then, nor am I a rebel. In swinging from one aspect to the other, I've found who I am, which is a person who tends to be introspective with a lot to say, having found a vehicle through this site, but more importantly, through my novel.

There are times when I'm very loud and lewd. Other times I'm very quiet and shy.

So my girlfriend wants to hang out with her conservative friends this weekend. And I asked why am I not included. Basically, she's afraid that my loud lewd side will come out, as it always does in groups, and will offend her conservative friends. She's asked me before to be less Jimmy and more "normal".

What the fuck does that mean?

Here's what my ego said, "She cares more about what other people think, and is ashamed of who I am." Even though who I am is not that loud lewd person.

She deeply cares about what other people think. She doesn't understand that she has no control over other peoples' opinions, nor do they affect her in reality.

In other words, if someone thinks she's stupid, they thinking that won't make her stupid. Just like when comedians joke that Asian guys have small dicks, I don't go around showing people my dick. Plus, it'd be flaccid, and that's not impressive.

She didn't like my Superman wallet. She doesn't like my loud lewd side. She wants to hang out with her conservative friends. So why the fuck is she with me?

Ignorance Is Bliss

Wow...this pakalolo is good...

Wow...this pakalolo is good...

The soft sounds of the of the Pacific waves washed over my ears and caressed my yearning for the Hawaiian Islands. The day was full of screams from the Giant Dipper in Santa Cruz, the smell of funnel cake meandering around the Boardwalk, the hot burning sand, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and the all too common sunburns. Twenty of us had met up for a full day at the beach, which was something I needed.

Toward the end of the day, some dude had made the statement that he doesn't read fiction anymore because it was a waste of time.

If he was going to spend time doing something, he'd rather watch documentaries because they were both entertaining and educational. He was all about education and fun. But I guess you can't do one without the other, in his world anyway. 

Immediately, I asked him, "So you think art isn't important?"

"It is." Then he talked about his love for ballet. And that basically shoved my ego back where it belonged. Not sure where that would be.

Being a writer, I can be sensitive when someone tells me that fiction is a waste of time. I had to remind myself that not everyone reads fiction, not everyone who loves art is going to love every form of art (I certainly don't), and everyone connects to different forms and that can change as they grow as a human being.

My best friend had succinctly defined art by asking the question, "How does it make you feel?"

Story is the epitome of feeling, emotion being a subset of that. According to Wikipedia, feelings are the subjective perception of emotion. But emotion doesn't necessarily dictate how we feel. I imagine President Abraham Lincoln having happy emotions after getting the 13th Amendment passed and winning the Civil War, but feeling sad and spent from the effort and the sacrifice of human life.

So the question becomes: Why tell stories, specifically the written word?

As Robert McKee stated in his Big Think interview, novels can focus in on characters' specific inner conflict, something that movies, and yes, even ballet, can have a hard time doing.

What the esteemed gentleman, who graciously stated that fiction was a waste of time, doesn't understand is that fiction allows us, the readers, to process our own inner conflicts through story. If someone had lost a child, they may read my book to see how my main character handles those feelings of loss. Whether readers agree with my character's choices or not is not the point. Seeing a character go through that horrible event, forcing him to go through the ups and downs of life afterward, making wrong choices as a result of that event can help readers look at themselves and say, "I'm not crazy for feeling guilty, blaming others for my loss, or having thoughts of anger and suicide."

Reading fiction can also help us feel when were forced not to during the one place most us spend our lives: work. And most people work in the corporate world where having emotions or individualism is really frowned upon. Corporate leaders may deny this, offering the importance of work/life balance. But once we get pissed off, show some balls (not literally), or express individualistic ideas and opinions, we're forced back into the line of conformity. But that's for another post.

What more do you want, ladies?

No where is the need to feel more prevalent than the genre of Romance. When I tell people that at least half of the money spent on fiction is on romance novels, they're very surprised. So much attention is on fantasy type books like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Divergent, superhero movies, and other spectacles that romance novels get glazed over in our minds. Women clamor to feel needed and loved and wanted and most don't get this in their real lives, so they delve into books. Most men don't see this and realize their women have needs, and it's not a surprise that women cheat just as much as men do for the exact reasons I've listed.

Obviously, the esteemed gentleman made a very ignorant comment because fiction has affected our way of life in more ways than he'll ever allow himself to know. Look at Christmas. It's a well known fact that writers Washington Irving and Charles Dickens helped influence the way the world celebrates Christmas. Family gatherings, gift giving, peace and love and thankfulness are emphasized in their stories.

I didn't put up much of a fight after my ego-laced 'Do ya 'preciate art' comment. I don't know why I took myself so seriously. Maybe because the guy was ignant and smug when he hated on fiction. But then he was rambling on about his travels, his knowledge of other cultures, his appreciation of ballet, and how great his life was in an effort to impress a young woman. And I'm not one to try and cock block anyone unless I was interested in that person as well. So I backed off and turned back toward the soft waves, the velvety breeze, and the smell of meat cooking from a nearby barbecue. And I realized that maybe ignorance for him was bliss.

The Shunned

Since postponing the move to Hawaii, I've gone on a bevy of hikes, happy hours, house parties, game nights, BBQs, writing groups, and whatever else you can think of. Well...no swinger parties, but not because I wouldn't...just don't really know where they're held. Aside from that, I seem to have a hard time connecting with people, save the writing groups. Interesting discussions and analysis are always had, and I've always connected with people in those groups as they've helped my writing. Maybe because we all have a singular goal, I'm not sure, but I look forward to those whether I've submitted something for critiquing or not.

Damn Dat is One Skinny Pencil
Damn Dat is One Skinny Pencil

Recently, I've really had a hard time connecting with non-writers. On an urban hike to sightsee holiday lights, I ran into an acquaintance of mine and said Hi to his clique of photographers. Fellow artists, right? They joked about who had the longest lens, and one guy asked another if he was happy to see him. If you haven't figured this out, ladies, they were all men. So I quipped, "It's the girth. Girth is more important."

The breeze blew. Crickets fell silent. Even the stars seemed to stop twinkling. Girth. It's a double entendre. Common! The width of the lens is an important factor. Same goes for the penis. Ask any woman. Pencil dick is a real term.

What Tha
What Tha

They stared at me like I was an uninvited guest. I was, and my attempt at inserting myself into their banter failed. Or maybe they all had pencil dicks and wondered how I knew.

Aren't we all artists? Can't we just get along?

In high school, I always found myself with the nerds and geeks, not that I had a problem with that. I loved my friends and loved being passionate about geeky stuff. But, at this point, my inability to connect with fellow artists was the tipping point.

There's gotta be sumthin' wrong wif me. A Jew even scolded that my sarcasm could be construed as truth. Uh...yeah. Sarcasm. Look it up.

What do I need to change to gain acceptance? Am I too aggressive? Too assertive? Can people sense the anger boiling behind the humor? Do others feel my antisocial tendencies? Or am I so set in my ways that I just choose not to connect with people?

Then I got a hold of myself and shook. I found that to be rather difficult, easier to do to another person. Thinking back to the people that I had talked to, I wouldn't hang out with most of them. I didn't feel any type of connection to the group of photographers even before I said one word like the woman from the hike and dinner, whom I wouldn't touch with a ten foot electric cattle prod. OK. I would but that's because she's a freakin' bitch. In fact, the only people I seem to connect with are people of depth. Often times, peeps ain't open to discussing anything that deeply, which is kinda sad.

Chatting it up with a dude one time, I asked him why he thought his son needed to choose a practical career. "So he can get a slice of the financial pie." But is that going to make him happy? "You're thinking too deeply about it. He needs to support himself." I didn't dispute that, but if talking about happiness was too deep a subject, then, shit, what isn't? The weather?

Sun sure is bright and yeller.

Yeeup. And circular like a circle.

Is That Poo?
Is That Poo?

For a moment, I feared that I scare people away. Then Oakland came to mind. Whenever I looked lost in the murder capital, brothahs have always helped me out. And one guy who was late meeting up with his buddy asked if he could use my phone, then offered to pay me a buck for letting him. Common. I gots me unlimited minutos.

A part of the issue is people are afraid to feel. They don't mind feeling good, but anything that makes them feel bad, NO, stay away. Unfortunately, bad feelings do come up. That is the nature of being human, just like the nature of the weather is that sometimes it's sunny, sometimes it rains. We need both in order to grow.

Think about Hawaii. Everyone thinks it's a sunny local, and never in their minds would tha islands rain and have overcast. But they do. And it's not bad, nor is it good. It's just the nature of weather. Dammit! Somehow I made the weather a deep subject.

Coming back to my problem of not connecting, I realized there was nothing for me to do. For one, it isn't a problem. Trying to run away from a bear that can run faster than the fastest human without breaking a sweat is a problem. I'm going to connect to some people, but, at the moment, I don't connect to most. Changing myself, applying a filter, is the worst thing I can do because, as a writer, I have to allow my creativity to fly. Are there times when I need to filter myself. Of course. But at an outing when we're celebrating life? Fuck no.

Go With Da Flows

Into my second week of living in the H.I., I fly to da Big Island, better known as Hawaii. People have told me that it's very country. Through the small window of the small plane, the kind that papers write about having crashed on desert islands, I see acres of plots of land, agriculture, and tiny houses placed in the middle. It's very country. I book a tour to the famous lava flows. What I didn't realize was a ten mile round trip hike to the flows over barren, treacherous terrain that is made up of 50% silica, another word for glass. One of the requirements for this trip were pants, not leggings, but pants. One fall usually ends with cuts. Since I only packed shorts, I wore shorts. Live and learn.

We start the hike and quickly find out that the terrain is treacherous. I think a 4X4 truck would keel over. Every step sounded like glass breaking under our shoes. Everywhere you look is just cold lava where a community once lived. Our ranger said that houses still in this area has been built over the last eight years, people who are unwilling to let their land go, and insurance companies don't offer coverage to them because...well...it's lava. You can't stop lava. If it flows toward your wooden home, then pack up and say good-bye.

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What seem like years, two hours go by, the sun had set. The ranger warned us: if you see a glowing crack, that means it's hot. Duh. Don't put your hand over it. Duh. We ain't stupid! One of the tourists call out and point to a glowing crack. We whip out our cameras and snap away like little boys ogling a topless woman. I stick my hand over the crack and yank it back. Yup. It's hot.

At this point, we're about a mile away from the flows:

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Can you see it? It's the little red dot.

Here, the ranger said we're about a quarter mile away:

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Getting closer and it feels like a hot summer day. And bam!

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We were lucky because an earlier group stated that the flows had stopped. But when we got there, a small hole burst open and lava oozed out. When I say burst, I mean, there was no flow, then there was. A snail after ten shots of bad vodka moved faster. But it was amazing. I was about fifteen yards away, but any closer and the heat would start melting my Nike shoes.

I think tens of thousands of tourists come to the Big Island specifically to see this. It's the only place on da planet where new land is being created. As we trudged our way toward the flows, a lot of what we walked over was anywhere from a few hours to several days old. Most people never walk on any type of earth, given the concrete jungle that we live in. So to walk on new earth, and then to witness new earth being born is amazing. All of us watched this flow for what seemed like an eternity.

Then we hike another quarter mile and see this:

How often do we see ocean water combat red hot lava? It's like two opposites hashing it out, making brand new land. Land that someday, if we humans are still around, an agent will sell. To think we can own that is stupid, but oh well.

For me, I've always loved the creation of art. When I hike through San Francisco, I love watching street performers. They're creating art right in front of our eyes. I think that's why we love certain reality shows like American Idol, or theater, or live music, or even Cirque du Solei. We want to live in the moment, but when it comes to our own lives, we don't. So we succumb to something like cooking shows because they're not only taking risks by being in a competition, but they're creating something new, something from nothing. It's pretty amazing stuff. My vice is Design Star on the HGTV channel.

Back to the flows. I'm not sure I'll be back. It's quite an effort to get there. I'll never forget it because I have pictures. And because the experience of getting there, seeing something like that, then not wanting to leave, but we do, is a cool experience to be had, much like being in da Hawaiian Islands.

One funny story: The ranger said if we needed to pee, we should let him know. He doesn't want to lose a tourist and have that reputation fowl our time here. As it happened, I needed to go and headed over a small hill. This way, I'll get privacy, not that anyone would shine a light to watch me pee, and hope its far enough away where the smell of pee won't reach the rest of the group. As I peed, the sound of sizzle on the hot rock startle me. It's not a normal thing for me to pee and here sizzling. Then the smell of urine punches my nostrils. Whoa. Have you ever walked by an alleyway and realize people use that alleyway to pee in? Now multiply that by a thousand, add heat, mugginess, and downwind. Yuck.

My characters who are both warriors and hunters understand that concept of downwind. I apparently do not. Worse was when I trekked back to my group, that downwind blew toward us and carried with it my boiled pee, fowling that area. Live and learn.

One suggestion if you do go to the lava flows. Do wear pants. We almost made it out when two people fell. One man fell on his hand and cut his palm open. Another woman fell on her shin, but she wore leggings. Rolling her leggings back revealed she suffered some deep bruising in its early stages and several cuts. Ouchy.

What Bonds Us

Nice hairdo

Nice hairdo

All artists draw from experiences in life. Not that we must have them in order to be good storytellers, but, like dirty nuggets of gold, they help create space in our minds and allow our emotions and creative and insightful thoughts come to us. And sometimes, outside of any artistic endeavor, it reminds me of what's important to me in life.

Someone's walkin' on water

Someone's walkin' on water

Sitting at the Island Vintage Coffee in my third day living in Hawaii, for a month anyway, my first day filled me with events that went beyond my expectation.

Downtown Honolulu has a first Friday art walk, and it was something I wanted to do, loving the Oakland First Fridays Arts Festival. Think massive street party filled with live street bands, performers, galleries, chains of food trucks, and merchandise only found locally. It's like ten blocks of fantastic experience with alleyways intermingled.

Honolulu's paled in comparison--one live band, two blocks of stuff, and a smattering of artists struggling to find their place in their world. I had met up with a group of people to go on this walk, none of them had ever experienced Oakland's, and my failing to explain to them the grandness of it all, despite Oaktown's murderous reputation, didn't do the other city by the bay nuthin'.

I did meet this beautiful woman with depth and sensed a connection. So we walked and talked and people watched. We slowly got to know each other and things seemed to go well. Then I found out she was leaving the H.I. in the morning following the next day. To make things a little worse, her ride wanted to leave and so she had to as well.

He so fast, he blurry

He so fast, he blurry

While sitting alone in a restaurant, I witnessed someone throwing a bottle at another man's face for reasons unbeknown to me, then watched a Capoeira demonstration, which was awesome, saw a homeless woman drop someteen dollars, pointed at her then her money and she raised her hang loose hand and stared at me, and stared at me, and stared at me for a lot longer than I felt comfortable with, then went back to the hostel to find my young roommates hollering' it up, preventing the sandman from calling. That was my first day in the Hawaiian Islands.

Oh, did I mention the hookers stalking the streets? Yeah, I found them while walking off the main strip of Waikiki. Yes, Hawaiian women are naturally beautiful, so...yeah...and no I did not.

Dude, leave me alone, braddah

Dude, leave me alone, braddah

My diet starts tomorrow

My diet starts tomorrow

Next morning, I looked at my phone and that woman from the night before asked if she could tag along with me to the North Shore. We drove the perimeter of Oahu, saw a sleeping sea turtle, and she treated me to a Polynesian Fire God hamburger, which was as spicy as it sounds, tried the famed Fumis Fresh Shrimp truck, then drove about a quarter of a mile to find another famed Fumis Fresh Shrimp truck, only to find another farther down the highway. "Shady" she yelled, and we both laughed.

This was like the fifth shrimp truck

This was like the fifth shrimp truck

We decided to settle down at a beach and catch some Hawaiian sun and entered Waimea Bay. The winds were whisking up the waves to the point where the current was able to swallow unskilled swimmers into the Pacific Ocean, us, and the lifeguard had to announce a warning. He suggested to us that we hit Turtle Bay Resort, which has sort of an alcove, hint: you two don't belong in here's torrential waves. Good thing we did cuz it was exactly what we wanted. For the next few hours, we talked about life, love, kids, passions, what hers were, told her about my soul search that lead me to writing, and then I found out that she was going to stay for a few more days, but had to leave for personal reasons.

Hmm. Puzzle. Let's see if I can gain her trust enough to reveal what that is.

We continued to talk about our experiences with Hawaii, well my love for it, my heartbreaking point of having to cancel my home purchase to stay with my ailing mom (sympathy card, gentlemen), and she blurted out something about a boyfriend.

Sucker punch in the nuts. My nuts. Not hers. Wait. She don't have none. Wait! She doesn't have none--any.

Her trip to Hawaii was a response to his inability to commit. I'll go as far as that.

Doing what I do as a former mentor of children, I told her that she should just end it with this guy, move up to Nor Cal, and date me.

Right. Remember, I have no balls cuz she sucker punched them, flat. Not that I consoled her, but more listened and offered advise when the conversation seemed to point to it. In the end, she left earlier than scheduled to be with him, and that's sweet.

After I dropped her off, there was a feeling of lost connection because I realized something. I wasn't hoping that we would somehow get together, she lives many, many hours away from me, but that I value the connection between a man and a woman. Especially from my point of view, I cherished feeling connected to her, or any woman of depth. Whether she felt that way too, I don't know. Maybe, she was one of those angels, like friends who stay for only a day, to remind me that connection, that being with someone who I want to share life with is important. I mean, isn't that what we all want? Which is a line one of my favorite characters in my book uses.

This connection is probably why I want to write my fantasies so much. For whatever reason, I feel connected to these stories, and I can't help but tell them.

Wherever you are, I hope you find what you're looking for, and I thank you for making my trip here all the better. Ciao Bella.