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Recognized Social Butterfly




The other day at the Kahala Hotel a few miles from Waikiki, I had an unnerving senior moment. Departing the elevator at the super scenic 10th floor, as I have often done, I veered left and walked down the corridor to check out the sunset over Diamond Head Mountain. After a brief view at the approaching sunset unfortunately obscured by clouds, I began to walk back to the elevator.

But at first I didn’t get very far. Becoming more and more anxious, I wasn’t sure how to proceed. Instead of going to the end of the corridor and taking a right, as I would normally do, I unaccountably turned left at every intersection on my way. All that I found was a tiny pathway to a few guest rooms. In my altered state, it never occurred to me to knock on any door to get directions or to call my wife for help. Then I got dizzy and began to hyperventilate.  I felt trapped in a twilight zone. Exhausted, I stopped near the end of the corridor, trying to visualize where the elevator had to be. I imagined that I might have overlooked it. Just as I thought about retracing my steps, I heard a noise. It was the elevator. I moved forward and turned to my right: there it was. My quest was mercifully over.

I have an appointment with a gerontologist in a couple of weeks. I’ll have to tell her about my mishap. Will she be amused or appalled? In any case, I’m thankful that I safely got off the disorient express.


The Perils of Hydration

Yesterday in downtown Honolulu I desperately needed to find a rest room. After I spied what looked like a pedestrian crosswalk, I plunged ahead, expecting vehicles to stop for me. Although they did so, the drivers, including a cop, weren’t very gracious. Some shooed me away, some raised their fists, and one man cursed at me (“You’re a **bleep**ing idiot”). Dumbfounded, I continued to run the gauntlet, ignoring some undecipherable remarks and woebegone gesticulations from the exasperated cop. Why had the Aloha Spirit turned so spiteful?

Just before I reached the other side of the street, however, I happened to look up. A stop light materialized, it was red, and it was glaring at me. Oops! I had not seen it earlier because of my frantic desire to get to a bathroom, an unfortunate consequence of having to drink at least 100 ounces of water a day.

Especially when I am under pressure, I have trouble looking in all directions either when driving or walking. At the same time, I have to cope with motion sickness, poor depth perception, and tunnel vision. I must become more aware of my surroundings.

I am grateful that I wasn’t injured from unintentionally jaywalking. Moreover, I have added another story to my ever expanding quota of nine lives, tales that have entertained my grandkids for years.


Unrest in the Restroom

The other day in Salt, a funky enclave of Honolulu, a restaurant hostess guided me to the men’s room. I slid back the wooden door, locked it, and discharged my business. When I finished, I unlocked the door and pushed on it so that I could exit. But it wouldn’t open. I pushed some more, at first gently and when stymied, more forcefully. No luck. What was wrong with the **bleep** door!

Déjà vu! Struggling to get out of a restaurant rest room wasn’t new to me. Years ago in Paris, because of a faulty lock, I was trapped in the WC. A waiter finally rescued me, alerted by my battering at the door and my non-stop screaming.

But this time, I saved myself. After a few more failed attempts, I noticed that the door began to shift a bit to the right. Duh! I wasn’t supposed to push (never mind bang at) the door; I was supposed to slide it open. What a revelation! How could I have been so clueless? Unsurprisingly, my short term memory all too frequently gets short circuited.

For a decade, I have been hamstrung by degenerative arthritis. Although so far I have been unscathed by advanced senioritis, I need to get a better grasp of my environment.  But it ain’t easy. That same late afternoon, I bumped into a dog and tripped over a curb.

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