... Sometimes I wonder if Sunday, 9 September 2001 may have been the last ‘normal’ Sunday for the rest of my life. That afternoon on Kauai, Michael, a jazz composer/pianist, and his group – including neoRican percussionist Jorge – played Princeville Hotel’s open air lounge & bar while Michael’s 9(?) yr old daughter sat to one side fidgeting & mouthing the lyrics she knew from memorizing all her Dad’s songs. Those who know me know I'm the type of person who usually would prefer a carrot juice or a fruit smoothie, but that day I arrived at Princeville Hotel armed with a drink voucher so I ordered rum punch. Then I had a pina colada, and another rum punch. From the terrace that evening the sunset in the tropics seemed the most stunning I’d experienced in years. And so passed my first evening in Princeville – colourful, peaceful, harmonious and good.
Early Monday I awoke sick as a dog. To this day I have no idea WHAT BRAND of (apparently cheeeeep) rum was used but whatever I saved on tall tropical drinks - mixed with their house rum - a few hours later I paid full price .
I'd planned to go windsurfing first thing Monday morning; I'd also brought my (roller)blades, but that Monday on Kauai was a wash. Early that morning and most of the day my only goal became to stand long enough to take myself to the Princeville grocery market for buy Tylenol or aspirin. I don’t remember what time I finally got them. Being in the store is a blur, but I bought them, went back to my condo, took some with plenty of H2O and fell back asleep.
I woke Monday evening, 10 Sept, too late to go anywhere for dinner. Earlier at the supermarket I’d gotten a few things for the fridge and made do with that. I watched TV and again fell into a deep sleep. When I awoke in the early hours of Tuesday, 11 Sept, Hawaii time, on Turner movie channel TCM was “AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER”, the 1950s movie classic with Deborah Carr & Cary Grant in New York where they plan to meet atop the Empire State Building – New York’s tallest building – when tragedy intervenes. Perhaps a strange coincidence considering what was happening in real time on the other side of America.
The TCM film ended around 4/5 a.m. Kauai time. The no longer funny bullying in a very dated Laurel and Hardy skit made my heart wince so I turned the channel. Suddenly hot images... Pentagon in flames. Another network. Chaos and horror in New York and Washington... planes full of passengers used as weapons, another plane missing. It quickly sinks in that the world will never be the same. By phone I finally reach family on the East Coast. But that morning - in my solitude on Kauai - I chose not to sit shocked and saddened, and I want to thank CELESTE HARVEL, my instructor-friend at Windsurf Kauai. I found Celeste where we'd scheduled to meet. Though we'd never before met each other we offered each other some consolation for what was happening in our country & our world; we moved our time to the afternoon and later that day we windsurfed. M.