Letter to Honolulu.
Nowadays not like before. Not dat before was so hot either but I tink nowadays actually stay jes like before. Nowdays get plenny people working one two tree jobs fo buy something dey tink dey need. My mahdah, used to tell me, "No need. What fo?"
Before time was same: people work hard fo buy one house, fo go Mainland cause anyting from Mainland was bettah: McDonald's. Color TV. Coors beer. We wasn't America. America was da Ed Sullivan really "Big Shew" on Sunday nights after we pau eat. One week delay. We was always one week behind. We was behind: neva going Disneyland, neva going see snow.
And now we still chasing da Mainland. Broke down Sears for put one Bloomingdales. Dey going broke down da Farmers Market fo put up 25 million dollar penthouses. Some guys tell, "How come dey no ix da stink irst?" Sometimes da sewer smell come up from someplace but dey no can figgah out from where. "Ass okay," dey tell, "da trade winds blow um away most times." Except when get Kona weather. Da stink no blow away. Da vog come and da stink stay. My fahdah used to go Farmers Market fo buy chicken and da butcher give him one bag chicken feet fo free. Not stink.
Eh Honolulu, we still on da plantation. Nowadays still get plenny luna. Still get people who shame of who dey are. Still get people who telling us who we are. Still get people who only see da dollars. And still get us, who tell, "Yes Boss," when McGarrett say, "Book um Danno." Nobody on TV tell McGarrett, "Eh, you chasing da crook da wrong way around da island when he going airport. Eh, Wo Fat is da name of one restaurant not one crook." And we give four million dollars to da guys fo bring one junk pro football game to da Aloha Stadium, cause we no mo nutting bettah and it's good fo us.
Gov. Burns, one time, he said dat da problem was cause we stay shame; dat we no need be shame. I know what he mean. From small kid time, we was country, no class. Primo not as good as Coors. Lucky if you get one uncle work airline he can sneak in couple cases. McDonald's hamburger bettah den Chunky's cause get special sauce and 100% all beef. But when you put day-old bread, onions, and egg inside, come mo juicy, j'like da kine at KC Drive Inn or Likelike. Da old timers shake their head and say, "Nowadays not like before." Dey grumbo, grumbo, grumbo, and tell, "Ah, no can help. Progress dat." But nowadays if you no like something, you hold sign and shout, "La, la, la, la...I no can hear you!" Das why I still shame. Not about outsiders or insiders. I shame dat we no can say, "You right and I right. And what we going do?" Cause in da end, we live on one island. We ain't going nowhere.
Nowadays hard fo see where we going, cause no can see da road nighttime. Somebody went steal da copper wire.
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|Title Annotation:||NEW WORK FROM THE EDITORS|
|Author:||Lum, Darrell H.Y.|
|Publication:||Bamboo Ridge, Journal of Hawai'i Literature and Arts|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2013|
|Previous Article:||Excerpt from Other Fish in the Sea.|