Thursday, June 02, 2005

One bribe, coming up!

Tuesday, May 17, 6:50pm
Walking on the beach

I look out over the ocean. The waves melt into the horizon, which seems to go on forever, a beautiful, smooth, panoramic line where water meets sky.

I've seen the ocean lots of times. But where I'm from, the view is always interrupted by massive, tackily painted, 40-foot-high gas tanks or rusty building equipment. Looking at the Pacific Ocean on the beach in Maui is very different.

You get a sense of exactly how small you are here, a sense of the way the entire island is dwarfed by the ocean, how easily the sea could rise up and swallow us all.

"Let's stop here." We spread out our blanket and sit down to watch the twilight give way to darkness.

Steph pulls her knees against her chest, pushing up a little mound of sand with her heels. She grabs my arm and leans her head silently against my shoulder, and we stare at the vast, enormous sky as it burns with orange and purple.

"You DO realize that everyone we know thinks we're getting engaged out here," I say.

She rolls her eyes. "My mother won't shut up about it. And Meg kept telling me to work out with dumbbells so I could lift my ring hand," she laughs. "I told them, we're sensible people, we're not getting engaged after eight months."

"Right. So what IS long enough, in your opinion?"

"It's different for everyone, but if the guy is under 30, I don't think it can be less than two years. And if he's over 30, it can't be less than a year. And I think you have to have at least one major fight, and you have to be apart for a while, just to make sure that the relationship can take the strain."

"Well it sounds like we've got all that covered. Except for the one-year part."

"Yeah, we're gonna be apart all summer. And we fight all the time. But they're usually over silly things."

The sun blazes brightly as it touches the horizon, bathing the sky around it in bright orange. It sinks down, as if extinguishing itself slowly in the ocean, dissipating its intense heat a bit at a time. I'm surprised at how fast it's setting.

"How long do YOU think a couple should be together? Before getting engaged?"

"At least a year. You have to go through one set of holidays together, and I think living together is a good idea. And I think you have to agree on kids, too."

"I don't think it's good to live together. I like that we live apart, so we have to work hard to see each other. We have to make it a priority."

"You're gonna live together eventually, so you might as well try it beforehand."

"I guess. So, how many kids do you want?" she smiles, twirling her hair.

There's just a sliver of sun left. It burns weakly, like a fire that's most of the way out; the sky has cooled to a pale blue. Minutes pass, and the last of the sliver sinks away.

"I think two is a good number. I chase one, you chase the other."

"I'm not sure about kids. At least not until I'm a little older."


"I'm so driven with my career. And so are you. Are we really gonna wanna be getting up for 2am feedings? Either of us?"

"Eventually? Yeah."

"I guess, but we might have to negotiate that two number. IF we wind up together."


"So, DO you think we'll wind up together?"

"Yeah, I do. You?"

"I hope so."


Wednesday, May 18, 2005, 5:00am
Atop Mt. Haleakala

It's 40 degrees, but after what we've grown accustomed to, it feels like we're on the North Pole. Fifteen people stand around next to rented bikes, waiting for the sunrise like eager children.

The sky is a deep, infinite black, gleaming with a million stars, stars which, free from the brightness of man-made light, seem to form clusters and nebulae, as if we were in outer space.

After endless waiting, the bright orange sun pops up above a line of clouds, and I'm amazed at how similar it looks to the sunset we saw just hours ago.

At first the sun looks small, and it seems there's no way it can fill the entire sky with its meager light. But it builds strength with the same slow determination with which it put itself out last night, and then, inexorably, it's daytime.

We ride drum-brake-outfitted bicycles down the outside of the volcano, peeling off layers of clothing as we get ever closer to the warm weather at sea level. The views on the way are extraordinary; at times we seem to see forever, as we look out over miles of trees, hills, and of course, the endless sea.

Waking up at 3:30am was very difficult, especially since we had just gotten used to the time change - but I would do it again in a minute.

Steve and Steph's hotel suite shower

What is it about the shadowy light, the slick soapiness, and the dripping water that makes the female body so sexy in the shower? Why do I get so incredibly hard when I run a soapy washcloth over her hard nipples and watch water drip off her chin? Exactly what about wet hair plastered against her body makes me want so eagerly to do her?

I'm not going to try to fuck her in the shower; I'm thinking of going at it on our bed, our luxurious, huge, soft, bed, adorned all around by fancy knick-knacks and pictures of maritime scenes.

Steph puts on a fluffy robe and leaves the bathroom, her hair still wet. "Where ya goin'?" I ask.

"Balcony," she smiles.

"Be right there," I say.