Sep 19, 2005

Another simple escape.

Sunday was a day heavily marked by irony. I had ventured back to the house Saturday night to pick up my desktop computer, under the impression that my notebook was once again dysfunctional. It had overheated and shut itself twice that afternoon. This is after just having received it from the repair center in Houston two days previous. Interestingly enough, though, after I hooked my computer up to my TV monitor to see if it was compatible, the operating system refused to load. After I got to the Windows XP screen, the display would black out and the computer would restart. It would do this over and over again in an infinite loop. I never did resolve the issue. Interestingly, though, I pulled out my notebook and powered it up. I left it on for awhile, and it ran fine. The fan switched on without making any strange noises as it did before. So here I am back at my apartment, with the same computer that I had before and a broken desktop at home. Curious outcome. I suspect it's probably a malfunctioned hard drive, as I could tell by the eerie random clicking noises it produced that it was on its way to destruction. And to think, I had typed out a long journal entry and an essay for tourism geography without having saved it on any secondary source.

The journey to the other side of the island was worthwhile, though, if only for what I experienced on the way back. The moon was out in full force, and I decided it would be much better for me to leave for my apartment at 10 in the evening rather than 10 in the morning. In most cases, I much prefer night driving to day driving, especially when the moon illuminates the landscape, bathing it in monochromatic ebullience. That reminds me, "Monochrome" by Covenant is a perfect nighttime driving song. It impeccably complemented the exquisite scenery of beautiful moonlit rolling hills, vast plains, and rushing streams. I decided to navigate the infamous Saddle Road home, and was rewarded for my steering efforts. This reward came in the form of a truly surreal walk up to a hill upon which sat about a dozen radio towers and antennas, as well as a little wander around an old abandoned military camp nearby.

As I drove along the Mauna Kea access road, by chance I happened to notice a rugged dirt road leading up the hillside into the fog. Impulsively, I decided to stop and wander up it by foot. Squeezing through the two electrical wires restricting vehicular access was an easy task. The air at this elevation was very brisk, and admittedly, I became rather cold. I was too spellbound by my surroundings, however, to be bothered by it. The land was immersed in fog, so brilliantly lit up by my favourite celestial orb. The gnarled limbs of old, stunted leafless trees fumbled around in the air on either side of the road, the bases of their trunks obscured by the damp yellow grass that overtook them. I soon emerged from the fog, and was rewarded with a view so captivating I was for a few moments convinced that I was dreaming. Just downslope, I could see a stand of tall conifers rising above the fog as if they were anchored to absolutely nothing. In the distance was a round hilltop that very closely resembled a floating island. And of course, rising high into the sky across the fog blanketed saddle was the splendorous silhouette of Mauna Loa. Could it have been a dream? It certainly seemed too spectacular and blissful to be classified in the same league as "reality."

As the road continued upwards, I felt as if I had somehow stumbled into a warp zone that transported me straight into Arizona. The surrounding landscape reminded me distinctly of Arizona as I remembered it; there was very little that suggested otherwise. The relatively sparse vegetation, crisp mountain air, rolling valleys, cactus shrubs, and distant mountain peaks all reminded me distinctly of the mountainous region south of Flagstaff. Most significantly, the radio towers rising up into the moonlit sky on the hill before me reminded me of all the magical wanders I experienced in Arizona, where I would make my way up to these installations atop lofty mountains in the middle of the night. Nostalgia overcame me, and it was such a tender feeling. I followed the winding road all the way to the top of the hill, of course, and the view up there was... one of the best views I had ever seen of anything, to be frank. The white cottony clouds that rose above the distant peaks of Hualalai and Haleakala made them appear to have much higher snowcapped zeniths, further contributing to my impression that I was actually in Arizona. As I stood on the front edge of the site, I watched the landscape below me tumble down into the grey blanket of fog far below. I truly felt as if I was on a little floating island of my own, and could not help but stare at the same distant hill that rose up from the fog which I had noticed earlier.

My imagination kicked into high gear. I figured there would be no better place to construct my moon tower than on the summit of that hill. It would reach many miles into the sky, and on the very top of the tower would be a single large, expansive room upon which would be affixed the most powerful telescope in the world. From this room, I could survey the entire state; perhaps the whole world, with the use of carefully placed gargantuan mirrors orbiting the earth. I would live up there for the most part, swooping down to the earth whenever I felt a strange desire to walk around upon the ground. Earthbound creatures would routinely look up at the tower in awe, wondering what could possibly be at its apex, or how and why such a structure was ever built. Or perhaps they would never receive the opportunity to see it at all, for the fog would never clear at all. The full moon and mountainous atmospheres... there is simply nothing better.

Fuck reality.

On my way back down, I stopped at the Humuula Military Camp, an assortment of old abandoned buildings in one of the most remote locales on the island reachable by any road. The atmosphere there is simply celestial, as mist and coolness usually pervades the area, and tall conifers line the perimeter. The buildings are incredibly funky and dilapidated, but there is no hostile spiritual presence there from what I could feel. It is simply a beautiful, serene little place to explore and spend time in, be it day or night.

Earlier in the afternoon, I felt like killing someone and running away to become a hermit in a valley. Now, I feel perfectly fine; enlightened and refreshed. Like I said, today was a day heavily marked by irony.

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