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.