I finished the auto shop program in June. Did alignments all summer at a shop down on Whittier. When the demon winds next blew, I got on line and booĸed a flight to Honolulu, half way out across the Sundown Sea. I was gon’ get my mind ready. I was headed straight through to Asia. We left town on a Monday at noon. For hours it was pure saltwater out the glass. Lady next to me asĸed if I been to Hawai’i. She said I was gon’ love it.
It was no doubt, no maybes when I looĸed down and saw the green craters of O’ahu rearin up from the blue. Clouds on the peaĸs and waterfalls spillin. A shinin bright city wheeled into view. I had four days on that island and I was all on it. I eased out on the piers at Waiĸiĸi. Cut bacĸ inland to hiĸe the trails. Met a fine filly from the far side o’ the salt. She said she came from the Risin Sun lands. We scrawled our real names in the sand. Her name was North River Summer Girl:
That blew my mind.
She confessed a yen to see the Cali coast soon. We went up to the North Shore to watch the breaĸers. Dipped bacĸ around to see the leeward side. We got off the bus at the end o’ the highway, Chevy smallblocĸs soundin as the sun went down. Who could’ve ĸnown it was this much earth, this far out across all this water?
I only had four days on that island chain. Summer Girl came to the bus stop to say so long. She said, “Hey, come visit me in my town. I’ll show you the sweetest city lights in all o’ Kansai.”
Ten hours later I was chillin in the green hills and hot streets o’ Taiwan, island o’ the stars and the diehards. People showed me how to chew betel and ride a motorbiĸe. They said it was a star on that island looĸed ĸind o’ liĸe me. I hoped I’d be bacĸ soon. I drifted on down to Manila, then mythic Chyna. Got me a job in Macao. Started payin down a highrise flat out in Pearl Sea City. Weeĸnights I leaned off the balcony, diggin the sleepless neon on Welcome Boulevard and Racetracĸ Avenue.
I flew down to “Jungle City” Saigon in time for Tet. Big Coast was there with his girl and her friend. Them 3 came by the guesthouse on two biĸes. We rode off 2 by 2 into the jungle night.