Hawaii (from the rhetta)

This has happened to me before: I have been in a relatively distant land and met someone from back home, and they have answered “Atlanta.” When I’ve asked what part it has been, “Marietta, actually.” When I’ve asked what part it has been, “East Cobb, actually.”

The eldest of the guests at Holualoa Inn run out of steam earlier in the day than the other couples, and they find my lovely lover and I in a state of lazy postcoital bliss, perched atop the resort, staring at the green coffee and pineapple growing, the mellow old cows, the preening peacocks and perfectly round avocados. Glancing upon the port far below.

They are from Shallowford Road. The road my folks live off. The road where I went to high school. This Big Island is huge. This country a true giant, especially when you add in Hawaii and Alaska, which are United States. Texas alone, where I was born, is a country. California, where I set my full-length book, could be a big nation. The largest state east of the Mississippi River, my Georgia could be a fairly good sized country. The United States is unfathomably mammoth.

And it’s a small world.

Jasper Johns flag


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