How We Know What We Know

Makena, traps, lemon mousse

For a few years, my husband and I made an annual trip to the Makena Beach Resort and Hotel, located on the southwestern coast of Maui. There were a lot of fancy hotels to the south, toward Poipu, but to the north it was mostly wild, with cutouts in the road where you could pull over, whack through a bit of jungle, and find yourself alone on a beach but for several camper vans which looked to have been parked around 1970.

The resort itself was sleek but not overly fancy. The poolside bar closed at 7pm, and there was really nothing to do but watch the sea turtles and, for me, take long walks along a golf course above a property that overlooked the sea. I don’t know whose property it was, but one night there was a corporate gala, you could tell by the giant lighted letter “O” (Oracle? Oaktree Capital?) suspended above the glittering soundstage. The event, from my vantage point, looked to have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars; I imagined if could not see the catered mounds of shrimp and lobster, and behind it all, the moonlit ocean.

It was in this ocean, between Makena and a volcanic crater called Molokini, that the concierge told us several visitors had drowned. The story, he said, always went like this: a couple would arrive in the late afternoon. The husband or wife (in my memory, the wife) would, before the hostess gowns had been unpacked, announce she was taking a quick before-dinner dip and never be seen again. She would be swept out. One supposes this is what happened. I can imagine other possibilities.

My husband and I told ourselves we would always come back to Makena, a place where, one year, you might have needed to duck the Canadian couple who seemed so nice at the pool but who, two mai-tais in, turned out to be both virulent racists and trying to get in your pants, but then the resort closed, it would be turned into condos, and while we may once or twice have looked at what they were charging for those, we knew we’d never go back, that imagining we would had been a spell, a lull of sorts created by the soft breezes too-fragrant with plumeria.

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Last night, I saw a video I will not repost here. It involved a woman in a car saying cruel things to a police officer who’d pulled her over. The exchange, upon reflection, looked nearly scripted, which I did not immediately see, but which upon seeing made me extremely uncomfortable to have disseminated, made me question certain coordinates, made me want to take a figurative before-dinner dip from all of it. Alas.

So I learned something about why the mourning doves may not be nesting…

… which we may talk about this morning at 10:20am EST with Bill Schulz and Jo Nosuchinksy over on Mornin’!!! on Compound Media

… though Matt and I might also tell a story of what happened on Saturday night, when we were in our wedding party finery en route to our pal Kat Timpf’s wedding!

At about 10:45, we were on the D express train, heading from Grand Street to 42nd. At West 4th, the train stopped, no reason given. After about ten minutes, the local pulled up across the tracks and we decided to hop on. Just as we got inside the doors, but before they closed, there was a loud, very loud, crack! To me, it sounded like a football helmet being smacked onto concrete. Matt and I turned and saw a man laying face down on the platform; I could see his white helmet, like a construction worker’s helmet, lying a few feet from his body. Matt and I jumped off train and knelt by the man. He was breathing, and had a very large welt swelling on the back of his head. There was a little but not much blood. A bystander said he’d tell the station agent. I called 9-1-1.

“It’s okay buddy, stay still, stay still,” Matt said, as we kept our hands on the man, who I encouraged to breathe slowly; he was shaking and then, appeared to be going into a seizure. Matt later told me, he was afraid adrenaline would put the man into some sort of super-strength situation. Instead, he started ripping off an unusual jean jacket - half-white, half road-worker yellow. He was not really conscious but was active, very. He tried to sightlessly rip off his pants and got them around his knees. He vomited, vomit which first flew up and into his eye, then later onto the platform. As we waited for help to come, he released other body effluvium. Another bystander lent a hand, while also filming and narrating the encounter to his phone. Four EMTs eventually came, we gave them what information we could — Matt had seen the man tumble down the steps, I explained the loud crack. Where was the helmet? No helmet. My brain had heard the crack, seen the white-and-yellow jacket, and created the helmet. Matt and I boarded the next local and rode for several stops without saying anything.

Matt has a long feature, “The Equity Mess,” in the June issue of Reason. I’m going to wait until the next newsletter to write about it, but since it deals with the above “all of it” that derailed me but which he can handle with equanimity, you might go read that now.

Another person whose enormous brain and eloquence on the all-of-it I appreciated this week: John McWhorter speaking on “The Racism of Anti-Racism,” with Meghan Daum on her Unspeakable Podcast.

It’s true that the Paloma Media studio is getting a bit of a spiff-up. Look for Lizzy Wolfe and me live-streaming in fetching lighting on Wednesday at around 6pm EST, talking pie and politics over on the YouTube channel.

Speaking of Lizzy, she loaned me a sweater at the above party. I was hand-washing it yesterday in the bathroom sink when I saw the glue trap I’d set for the little mouse I’d seen the day before, now held that mouse, or a mouse. It was a very tiny mouse, and it was struggling, and it was horrible. What should I do with it? Drown it in the sweater water? How much more ghastly would that be? I instead threw it out the window, which is essentially an airshaft, and hoped something, a pigeon, a rat, would mercifully eat it quickly.

I’m not sure that’s a great segue from dessert. But is an example of how we know what we know. Don’t use glue traps.

Until soon, all the love, and maybe later tonight, a livestream whipping up the lemon mousse xx

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