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Picture of the Day
March 12, 2019

i had some doubts about returning. why was i leaving my cozy home, loving wife, and adoring cat to step back
into a situation that at the time i was glad to exit? i barely slept, dragged myself out of our unit to airport in a fog
(literally, as in the weather, but let it serve dual purpose as metaphor for my feelings), sad goodbye to sarah at
departures curb, painted lines and automatic doors. "looking forward to some warmer weather?" the agent asked.
"i don't know," i shrugged, tagging my bag. he laughed. "most people just say yes!"     the flight was a non-event,
which, given recent news, is just the way i want it. i checked my seatback safety card, glad to see it wasn't a Boeing 737 MAX. some nice views, a fairly cushy landing despite the usual OGG buffeting as little kids whooped it up and adults gripped their armrests. there was an inexplicable spell where i feared flying but now i'm just like, "bring it!" i understand it's a feat of engineering but that doesn't minimize the miracle and magic of it. after all, aerodynamics is only one piece of it—the greater mystery is how do you combine all those individual disciplines as practiced by fallible humans into a system that constantly flirts at the edge of disaster yet maintains 99.9999% safety? there's something going on there that we only think we understand, this organizing ability.      now imagine a centrifuge of american society and isolate the layer that ends up at baggage claim on maui. what do you see? it isn't pretty, and that for sure includes me. it's one part money, two parts tacky, rife with entitlement as evidenced by the way people hold their space—they belong there; you are merely in the way.     next! ok, there's no costco like your first costco and maui costco was my first. at the time i was baffled and bewildered, overwhelmed by the size of the shopping cart and scale of it all. they've added solar panel/shade structures to the parking lot and the shopping carts are a new model, maybe just a skosh smaller. given the variety of local store layouts, one has to wonder if it's all a rat maze experiment.       it's a two-hour drive to where i was going, not a single turnoff until the driveway but still i was one hair worried about finding it. there were blinking lights, cops, fire engines, and ambulance on the airport road—all for one dazed, downed scooterist. i picked up a hitcher, a young drifter who's been doing the bare minimum to get by but might have to change his ways now that he has a month-old child.       it's weird to come back to a place four years later. everything is familiar but different than remembered. no doubt there have been changes to it and my memory. but what it whisper/screams in my ear is BE PRESENT!        maui gets under my skin like a skeleton.