May 22, 2006

From beautiful to obscene to a squirrel who found his nuts

We all went to Makalawena Beach yesterday- another one of Hawaii's relatively secret coastal treasures. The sun never came out, but I am certainly capable of enjoying a beach at least as much without direct sunlight. Dark grey clouds were rolling off the mountain all day and it rained on the way to the beach, but it only slightly drizzled once or twice there. The access road down was in every bit as bad a shape as I remember it, but it's still fun to drive, even after giving the bottom of the chassis a nice scraping against a steep rocky platform. Bishop Estate owns the road and the land surrounding it, meaning that there is a strict limit on how much you are legally allowed to enjoy yourself, but it also means that it's protected from the threat of over-development. Win some, lose some. Nobody bothered us as we dug holes and constructed sand fortresses, enjoying ourselves in the simplest fashion for free. Like young children. In fact, we were the only ones left on the entire beach. I was tired by late afternoon since I had gotten up at 2 in the morning for work and did seven hours of it, but I also got the chance to meditate in a beautiful atmosphere and be amongst splendid company.


We also watched Over the Hedge later that evening, which was more good, light-hearted entertainment. I would have to say my favourite portion of the film is when the already perpetually invigorated Hammy goes on his energy drink kick. Weird, wild stuff happens, but you'll have to see it to found out!

I can't exactly recall the reason why, but sometime before pizza and the movie, we wandered into Big K-Mart. That equated to my bizarre experience for the day. I really don't know the reason, but just being in there was starting to depress the hell out of me. Certain atmospheres, especially those directly related to my physical senses, have the ability to significantly affect my mood, and I found it difficult to imagine a worse atmosphere than the one that store had.

I suppose I could begin with the lighting. It was so bright in there I was nearly blinded after just stepping in, and each subsequent moment I was in there, to tell the truth. It was just row after row of mercilessly brilliant white flourescent strip lighting, stretching almost as far as the eye could see. It was so cold, uniform, and terribly uninviting. I felt like I was about to go under the knife. I felt faint. It was even worse than Wal-Mart's lighting.

The odours could have been worse. About all I could smell was the overwhelming fragrance of cheap, mediocre merchandise machine-crafted to fulfill someone's desire for over-consumption, and misery. Though the misery could have been my own. The mere thought of having to work in such a place only boosted it. Within a week of working there, I would be reduced to a zombie. A thoughtless, unemotional zombie who would be a constant insomniac, for the lights would still be blinding me even after settling into bed and closing my eyes. I definitely took into account Costco's much more inviting atmosphere when deciding to start working there.

Stuck in a small American town where nothing of interest happens and there is barely anywhere to escape to even if you had the means, where K-Mart is the exciting place to go on a Sunday night to pick up some supplies for the big first day at boarding school bright and early tomorrow morning. They just have to look cool enough so the other kids don't tease you. They will anyway, though, because you're new and not quite perfectly human.

Don't mind me; I'm quite gifted at imagining worst possible situations for myself, and certain things inspire me to do that.

Everything was so organized, so systematic, so orderly and predictable. Restrictive, uncompromising, overpowering. It felt like a stunning representation of reality at its worst. And to imagine, so many K-Marts look almost exactly the same all across the continent. It reminded me how ugly, revolting, and compliant with the uniform standards of bleakness and dreadful mediocrity so much of the U.S.A. has become in just about everything but its lesser commercialized natural attractions.

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