Last week in Waikiki, instead of going to the gym, I walked four times around the block for my designated thirty minutes of daily exercise. I started my journey late in the afternoon, and as it turned out, precisely at five o’clock.
It was uncomfortably sunny on my street, Ohua Avenue; and before I traversed it, I became even more distressed. I saw a hapless homeless person fitfully sleeping on the lawn of the Health Center. His underwear had curled down his half-exposed butt; chunks of moldy bread and fly-infested scraps of chicken littered the grass and part of the sidewalk. Further down the street at the curb, I noticed a mangy looking motorcycle with a disemboweled interior and a few ripped hoses strewn alongside the road. During the thirty minutes of my walk, each time when I revisited my street, the unkempt tableaux of the forlorn man and the gutted motorcycle remained intact.
But I got a refreshing reprieve on the street parallel to mine. First of all, Paoakalani Avenue was completely shaded throughout my walk. After a while, I saw well-groomed young ladies escorting their well-behaved children to the back of the Waikiki Community Center. As I passed by on my rounds, I heard youngsters delightfully frolicking on a playground that I never knew existed. But the most poignant moment occurred during my last lap on Paoakalani Ave. Strolling in the opposite direction was an old couple. The fairly vigorous man had his arm around the frail woman as he gingerly steered her along the way. I could sense his affection for his mate.
There is a famous Sinatra song entitled “The Sunny Side of the Street.” Because of my uplifting walk on Paoakalani Street the other day, I would revise one of the lyrics: “Gold dust at my feet/On the sunny side of the street” would become “Gold dust at my feet/On the shady side of the street.”