A Sweaty Guy Finds Enlightenment
This is chapter sixteen of A Sweaty Guy.
To start from the beginning just click here.
It would be a couple of weeks before I’d finally get to meet with Darlene to talk about our previous acquaintance. In the meantime I continued to bring her coffee and flirt with her.
I found that I’d lost my normal inhibitions since DXM had become a regular part of my diet. After work I’d go to Waikiki beach; it was only a few blocks away. Starting up conversations with pretty women was suddenly easier than ever before.
On the weekends I liked Kailua Beach. Picturesque, with windsurfers and kite boarders spread across the horizon. Flat island just offshore with the Mokuluas out further, off Lanikai. The beach isn’t nearly as crowded as Waikiki, but there are plenty of beautiful people to look at.
In my enlightened state, I liked to jump in the water and float on my back while I prayed for God to send me knowledge of his will for me and to help me carry it out. I was beyond faith; I lived in absolute certainty that God was communicating to me and I need only listen. Before I had prayed and only heard my own mental chatter in response. Now I asked and God answered, sometimes very specifically, but more often with general encouragement, like: “Keep an open mind.”
After my prayer I would walk the beach a little bit to see where the pretty girls were and then lay out my towel near one that I liked the looks of.
During these weeks I was continuing to get to know Pahi and Rod, especially Pahi. Neither had cars so I would give them rides and we would talk things we’d done, music we liked and our hopes for the future.
I was driving a black 2000 Volkswagen Cabrio at the time and Pahi was impressed with my car. When Pahi thought something was sexy, he said it was “oily”. Angelina Jolie and Jessica Alba were oily, his Japanese girlfriend was oily, and my car was oily. Most guys we knew in early recovery, the ones living in clean and sober houses, didn’t have a car at all, let alone a late model convertible.
Pahi was still fairly young, but had spent a couple of years in prison on drug charges. He’d grown up on the Big Island and came to Honolulu to experience the big city life. A heroin habit brought him to the point of homelessness in Waikiki. There he supported his habit by “bunking” tourists (selling them weeds that he represented as “weed”).
His exploits in Waikiki led him to Halawa Correctional Facility, from which he’d been released only a few months before I met him.
Pahi told me stories of living on the streets and in prison. He said that prison wasn’t as brutal as people made it out to be (although he had some stories of brutality). He said the thing about prison was that time stopped, or seemed to slow way down. When he was there he felt he was living for nothing except the day of his release.
When he talked about living on the streets, he also talked about certain indignities and hardships, especially the problem of always having to feed his heroin addiction. But much of what he described, living by his wits in Waikiki, sounded exciting, even romantic in a way.
He’d met famous musicians and been taken care of by wealthy and beautiful women. One of the indignities associated with his addiction, was that, though he’d managed to always have a hot girlfriend, the drug had stripped him of his libido.
Now that he was clean and sober, Pahi’s primary goal was to stay that way so that he could have the hot girlfriend, and the hot sex that would go along with it.
I knew less about Rod. He spent many of his days out in the bay. A little rowboat was tied up behind the house and he’d most of the day out fishing. He’d invited me along several times and one day I decided to take him up on it.
Kaneohe Bay is protected by a barrier reef, so it’s almost always very calm. It’s shallow in most parts, with a sandy bottom in some areas and reef in others. We made sure we put on plenty of sunscreen and headed out into the bay. He told me he’d played music most of his adult life, but had only just recently picked the guitar back up after having given it break in his first year or so of sobriety.
He said he was rusty but since he was my roommate I’d heard him practice and he sounded damn good to me. He’d start by playing classic songs (Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck etc.) and improvising on top of them; then he’d play some of his own music, complex, moving, always with a strong hook.
Rod came from a musical family. His dad had been an orchestra leader and his mom was a singer; she’d sung back-up vocals on Bing Crosby’s White Christmas. Rod had been addicted to various drugs over the years.
Sometimes he’d switch from one drug to another because the first one was becoming a problem. He’d been to rehab before, but this was the most success he’d ever had at sobriety.
Rod was out of treatment and had nearly two years sober. The quantities of drugs over a long period had really had an effect on Rod. He was forgetful, to the point of sometimes stopping in mid sentence because he forgot what he was saying. But he was a smart guy who had done a lot of things in his life and I really liked him.
Sitting in the rowboat that day, Rod told me about the chances he’d had for fame and fortune and how he’d always sabotaged his opportunities with his drug use.
He was only now picking up the guitar again; it was like a reunion with an old friend, a little awkward at first maybe, but it felt good. “I miss jamming with other guys though, you know, getting into each others heads, seeing where it leads,” he told me. I reminded him that I’d seen him and Pahi playing together. “Yeah, that was cool, I liked that, but that was just goofing around for a few minutes. I mean really sitting down and getting something done.”
Read the next installment of A Sweaty Guy here:
A Sweaty Guy, some Gypsies, and the German-Japanese Nazi Hybrid Teacher
This is chapter seventeen of A Sweaty Guy.
Read the previous installment of A Sweaty Guy here:
Start from the beginning of A Sweaty Guy:
Originally published in 2011 at sweatyguy.blogspot.com.
But you should really be reading this:
The World Together
I published this back in 2006. You can see the original below. I thought it would be appropriate to re-post it today.