Coconuts

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Back in Nam when the rations didn’t come thru, you lived off your coconuts. Some locals here use the meat and wellspring to avoid all forms of hard labor. If you know how to drain the nut, which an adept can do with a dull knife, you have everything you need. Deodorant even soap or bathing are unnecessary for the healthy jungle eater, although one’s clothes suffer from a sour dough mildew. My new guru Spicoli set up a lawn chair outback in the woods and fashioned himself a tent with rope hung out a like hammock between two trees. Plastic trash bags he picked up at the dump drape over his lawn chair and sleeping bag. He enjoys the song of the Kauai O’o Bird and has abandoned his car here, suggesting it’s part of a work trade. The details of what we get never quite hammered out. His forté is barefoot with a chainsaw, tree trimming stoned, but what if he falls and self amputates on my property, then what?

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GIZZARDS

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I cooked gizzards for the cats and they came out so rubbery un-edible that I googled recipes. At least on my first attempt they tried to chew them before spitting them out, arranging them all over the lanai, with regiments of ants surrounding each morsel in a trail. Rather than use my vegan pressure cooker I decided on the 5 hour boiling recipe. I dumped the rest of the gizzards from the refrigerator that I didn’t want to go to waste into cold water, sullying my French and pristine clean kosher skillet.

(WHAT IS MY PROBLEM WITH WASTE AND WHY DO I WASTE MYSELF?)

A cauldron of nasty odors incensed this vegetarian all Saturday. It took HOURS of stabbing until I felt them tender. Then I replaced the boiling water and I fried the last of the cheap pork, let it all rest, then cut it with a dull steak knife so it took even longer, into the tiniest kitty bite pieces. Service wasn’t until close to 8.

They barely sniffed immediately turned tail. All three left the feeding area in protest. I waited 5 minutes, bagged and refrigerated the rest. They didn’t even taste them this time. When I woke up I retrieved the gizzards from the fridge and warmed them on the counter for an hour. My morning epiphany was to pour one small can of cat food over the top which they licked off.  The wild chickens, that I try not to feed, gobbled up the two plates in minutes saving my project ultimately from the ants.

Eyewitness

24

There was a murder on the beach last week. A man curled up in his sleeping bag, bludgeoned. A spate of cruel murders of endangered seals had been chronicled in our local papers. Kauai’a own true crime. We wondered if the psycho serial seal killer was accelerating, perhaps graduating. Or did he mistaken the cocooned sleeper for a beached monk seal?

We brought a volleyball to the beach. The meet-up listing should have said Bocce Ball we were told later. Which is Italian bowling. Which theoretically with bowling in my genes, my grandfather owned a bowling alley in Racine WI. and my father Italian. I might have had instant mastery, but no Bocce ball was ever produced.

John and I bumped the volleyball to stay warm. It was a blustery evening, sunset on the horizon. Parents had set up a slip and slide for their kids, or was that a roll of dark garbage bags unfurled? Smoky coals and and lighter fluid coughed from a grill.

In attendance a local star surfer who had a wave break named after him. Another fellow turned up with meat. A steak and long raw sausages held up by a Yo-Yo Ma doppelgänger. I looked at him for a long time. Like I know you. How do I know you?

There were a lot of cakes too. A Tuxedo cake. Red Velvet cupcakes, unfortunately the frosting was NOT cream cheese. Chocolate chip cookies with white chunks. Costco chow. Lightly whipped up sugar batter overkill and immediately regrettable.

The subject under the gazebo was Michigan and the novelist Jim Harrison and one guy was impressed when I mentioned I knew him.

I ate some questionable vegetarian collards greens. Cooked perfectly, just the right tooth. But an odd taste, something off. I asked the chef how long she stewed them for? She answered – chicken broth. Then corrected herself. No they are vegetarian; I used vegetable broth. 45 minutes. With red peppers and garlic flakes.

On the way home I asked John if he saw the way the wild haired cellist held his cake? By the dimmest sliver of orange moonlight (or peach moon if you consider the pitted craters). He sustained. Like a glowing aftertaste. Holding his mush of cake in his claw instead of a plate,  wolfing it down.

I remembered him. HE was the man up at Kukuiolono Park. The one in the grey truck that I had called the police about (that I saw again years later trawling the Eleele BEST SAVE grocery where everything is freezer burned) that saw me -alone- feeding chickens and opened his car door so I could see him with his pants scrunched down to the floorboards. Whacking off.