Tuesday, August 10, 2010


note: the following blog post will be split into 6 installments, of which this is the fifth, and each will be posted in roughly 2 day intervals beginning August 1st 2010. your comments are welcome below. As always, click the pictures to expand them if you like.

see the first installment here
see the second installment here
see the third installment here
see the fourth installment here

As it turns out our innkeeper John is not feeling well this morning, so we're on our own for breakfast. The wife is away in Georgia with family, so when he can't do it, there's no one to do it. It's OK for us, because - with strong encouragement from my 'satsang' - we're going to yoga class (my 2nd class ever, although I do it alone at home).

As a rule, I'm not a fan of looking stupid in public, which is a concern here.

When we return, Mike (AKA Donald Trump Jr., see previous post) wants us all to go out to breakfast together. Alecia and I are in our room rolling our eyes, trying to figure out how to get out of this torture, but Rosemary is already out there in the living room - in the line of fire, and it's getting set up.

So I snap: 'OK I'll do it -- but only on the condition that we take our car!' This is because the last thing I want is to get kidnapped by this guy all day - I'm not gettin' in his car!

As we are leaving Alecia suddenly says, "I'm going to walk". I get the feeling she thinks driving is stupid. She's right too - as a New Yorker and hopefully a good citizen of the planet, I would never drive to 14th street, but here I am driving 2 blocks - in freakin' Maui. Then as I'm getting in our car, Rosemary is not coming with me, but instead is getting in Trump Jr.'s car, so I'm left driving to the restaurant alone. That feels really stupid, but I push on. When exactly did I lose all influence?

Once at the restaurant, I get out and go in - and wait. 10 minutes later Alecia walks in and tells me she's learned they've gone to a different restaurant. It all feels really discombobulated, but it's sure OK with me!

You know those World War 2 movies where one guy jumps on the grenade to save the other's lives?…today that guy is named 'Rosemary'. When we saw her again at the inn, she had a story about Mike's political discussion, and how he had ticked off some of the local patrons of this place (being a loud talker and all).

In the meantime Alecia and I had a wonderful and calm breakfast, full of great conversation.

Thanks, Rosemary!

Back from breakfast, and someone has just shown up who wants a room. She's newly arrived from Italy and needs to stay somewhere and is really tired. I tell her to go up to the shopping center and ask around, but Mike/Trump Jr. wants to handle it. He gives her tea, sets her up on the couch, shows her stuff to read and what have you.

Well, John the innkeeper is in his little house in the back yard....

....and someone goes out to get him but can't wake him up. He really MUST be under the weather.

Rosemary and I decide we're going on a little excursion to pick up some t-shirts for my good friend Andy, and it turns out we're gone 3 1/2 hours. This is a bigger island than I thought!

We get home, and the woman is still waiting. I go in the room to get a shower, and a few minutes later, Alecia comes in the room and says, "something bad is happening. Two police cars are in the driveway".

So we're trying to figure out what's going on, but I don't want to actually go ask. After all these years removed from a checkered past, I'm still reticent about police. Less police the better I always say (although NY cops are usually dealing with real crime, or actually helping you in some way, so that mantra is only used outside of NYC).

Plus they'll want to take my name and ask questions -- what the hell, they'll find me if they need me.

"I think it may be a drug bust", says Alecia. I didn't notice a druggie quality from this guy, but whatever. I wasn't particularly paying attention. I'm clean.

Turns out someone had gone back out again to John's house, and he's still in the exact same position from before: DEAD.

Yes, the innkeeper - dead of a massive heart attack. In the middle of our idyllic Maui vacation. 58 years old. Talk about unexpected!

Didn't I see this in a Monty Python sketch?

OK, it is sad - I'll grant you. It's certainly awful for the wife, who I've never met or spoken to, but as far as John's concerned, he got off pretty easy, probably pretty quickly.

Plus, remember the wife's NOT here.

I've seen some long hard deaths - cancer, emphysema, you name it…my mother, my father, friends - so when you're walking around one minute and gone the next, that seems like a pretty good deal. I'll take it. In fact I'm free next Thursday if the grim reaper wants to schedule me.

Plus we'd only met John a couple of times.

Umm, so naturally this situation is primed for humorous quips and such, yes?

Let's face it: John would have wanted it that way.

What was really interesting was to see how this little community reacted, pulled together and coped. Donald Trump Jr. is really bummed at first. I mean really bummed. He comes across as kind of a lout when you've just met him, but at this point he's sitting there slouched over, with his head in his hands in that distraught way, and people are patting him on the back ('there, there…he's in a better place'). Seriously? He knew John for - maybe - one more day than we did…..

Rosemary is a junior detective, logging all her incoming and outgoing calls, talking to the police, and generally in crisis solving mode. We're telling her, "Rosemary, it's not a crime scene - relax."

She's not relaxing.

Alecia and I, seeing the big picture here, think this whole scene - while tragic for the kin - also has humorous aspects and irony, and so we're making little innocent jokes, off to the side. The more intense everyone else gets, the funnier it is to us, and so the crescendo begins. Alecia works in a critical care area, and so while she is clearly very compassionate, she also has experienced enough of this and so is used to it. Plus by this time, we've gotten to know each other pretty well, so as I've come to realize, she's HILARIOUS.

This is a little dangerous...

At one point, trying to move it along and get to the dinner where we're expected, I say, "I'm hungry, I need to eat."

Alecia says, "yeah, we really need to get to the restaurant, we're late....
~long pause~
I'll tell ya' who doesn't need to eat…"

Can't write the timing of course, but every one she comes up with is better than the last. She's clearly building on a motif. Also, I'm stonefaced (as the 'mourners' are in hearing distance of me). She's thinking these aren't landing, so she keeps upping her game. At one point she asks to make sure she's not offending me.

Offending me? What I'm trying to do is not to let my laughter get out of control, especially since everyone else is so serious...

...so very reverent.

Again, of course, not laughing about the wife -- to reiterate though - she's not here.

Well, as time goes on, Mike (Trump Jr.) is taking over the booking and upkeep.

The first thing the next morning I come out of my room groggy, and a couple I've never seen is there standing with Mike right in front of our door -- he's showing them around. "Hi, how are you?" the new man pleasantly says to me. I grunt hello. Mike says in a cheery salesmanlike way: "Here's the Aloha room." "Out back here is the plantation grounds." "I think we can get you into this other room over here later today."

At what point do you just say, "the proprietor's gone to a better place, sorry but there's no room at the inn?"

Plus, I don't know exactly how it happened, but in a single day he evicts the Spanish guy, which - keep in mind - John was not able to do for some time, and has found a place for the Italian woman on a fold away bed in the front hallway. Mike is just a guest - and he's only been there for a day longer than we have.

Maybe he did do an impressive real estate deal...

Later we go to dinner with a few of the reunion folks, their numbers dwindling. Ram Dass, Krishna Das, of course the bride and groom and some others are there.

"Sorry we're late, but our innkeeper just dropped dead".

Thankfully, Saraswati saw the humor in it too. It's not just me…

The grounds in happier times, complete with deadbeat Spanish sunbather in background:

Next: The Yoga Class, and farewell to my Satsang

1 comment:

Furry Murray said...

We hate "deadbeats!" They should be taken to a "better place," like a youth hostel? Really interesting sequence and everyone can be thankful that John went his way after the wedding, which sounded exquisite.

One thing that should not be left up to the imagination that I missed...and I live for...
What was the menu like at various meals, Wedding, breakfast, etc. Thanks Reed.