THE WRITER ON KAUAI

I am a writer. Would much prefer giving readers a giggle instead of a slap in the face but sometimes…

Most writers are loners. We are not people collectors, we’re more people watchers. Many of my writer friends agree on this. One of my favorite things to do is grab a book, drop in for lunch at a local eatery. We’ve a wonderful array of good eating spots in my neck of the woods.

I find  a cozy corner, order, and then sit back and watch, pretending to read. You can learn a lot about the herd when it’s feeding.

There, at a table for two, sit a couple. Both of them pale in the face. Both of them several pounds over-weight. They don’t speak. They don’t look each other in the eye. They stuff their faces and slug a canned soft drink. I try to imagine them in bed together. Sometimes my writer’s mind  comes up with an hilarious vision but most often it’s sad.

Sitting at a table for four, by a little rail that opens out into a small  tropical garden, are a young couple with two kids. The kids are busy feeding fragrant scraps to a pair of   kittens who quickly and cutely snatch a bite and disappear into the shrubbery. The kids giggle. The parents smile and sip a glass of iced tea.

Seated  at a table in the middle of the room are two women. Dressed in shorts and expensive shirts, hair coifed but capped, faces a little too pink- probably been out on a golf course, we’ve many of these in our neck of the woods- they turn a stern and glassy gaze  at the kids and the kittens. One of them has a delicate  gold cross hanging on a chain in the space where the silk shirt meets  rumpled flesh. She beckons, with an imperious snap of the fingers, at a waiter who I happen to know owns the place. He hops to it. This pair have been known to cause a ruckus. Old names, they carry weight.

The owner  listens politely, almost obsequiously, and goes off to speak to the parents, who look a bit embarrassed. Quietly, however, and with a smile, he leads the kids into the courtyard. The kittens reappear. The kids giggle. The parent  smile. The two old bats go back  to their tall pale-brown sipping.

Soon a great tumble of dark brown folks bustle in. Their energy is high. They’re boisterous and hungry. They sit around the table in a heap. Their smiles are enormous. They eat as they live, with passion, joy, and excitement. The room fills with their laughter. The lady golfers leave their drinks and exit in a huff. The silent pair do, too.

What’s left in the room  expands with a human quality beyond the grasp of they who depart. The kittens and the kids are happy. The owner, me, the young couple, and the happy chompers feed on. I wait for my writer friend and wave when he enters.

This is Kauai.

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