Life on Maui has been one of the most wonderful experiences that I have ever had in my life. Woohoohoo I feel blessed. The guys that I work with are of a different sort than I am used to and the process of becoming a member of the team was extremely stressful. Before living with a sales team I was living in New Orleans and hanging out on the street. Its a different mindset. On the streets of New Orleans you will find the most interesting and diverse group of people in the USA if not the world. For a group like that to come together and be peaceful (for the most part) it requires everyone to have an open and accepting mindset. Here on Maui I am teamed with a group who views themselves as an elite class with elite skills and in many ways they are. The team on Maui is highly educated and comes from wealthy families who are well connected. After being accepted by elite class of people I can finally feel secure and now question if this is the place that I would like to be.
New Orleans, though beautiful and desperately alive, was desperately fragile. There was something forever savage and primitive there, something that threatened the exotic and sophisticated life both from within and without. Every stone in the streets and every brick of the french houses had been bought from the fierce wilderness that forever surrounded the city, ready to engulf it. Hurricanes, floods, fevers, disease, and the damp of the Louisiana climate itself worked tirelessly on every hewn plank or stone facade, so that New Orleans seemed at all times like a dream held intact by her striving, unconscious population.
The island of Maui had been forcefully taken from its native people who even after 100 years still harbored a vengeful unaccepting nature to the haole (white foreigner) that seems as an impassable barrier barring me from the true nature of the island. There is a different type of person who chooses to venture to the most beautiful and remote places on earth. While I would not refer to these other people as the beautiful people I will say that there is much to learn from their arrogance. An arrogance that can only be gained through great achievement in life and therefor at least grounded in a skill of some sort. Only in Maui have I been able to blend with this arrogant type of person which has given me a strange sense of satisfaction. My soul however, does not feel the same.
There are many options ahead of me and the unknown is of great importance.
A biker taxi they called themselves, or pedicabs as the name assigned to them by the men they worked for. These brave men and women who worked as pedicab drivers would scour the streets of the downtowns looking for a tired footstep or a group of party people who might be in need of a scoop and a shoot along whatever road they travel. The people paid well and the work was sweet. Biking a surplus of 40 miles a day has a way of making one sleep harder and taste the food more, but it’s a dead end job that only ever serves to pays the bills.
One night a young boy pedicab driver picked up a wicked elderly man off the sidewalk. The man demanded to be taken to the other side of town. He promised to pay well and the boy agreed. Along the way the man jeered and yelled at the boy to go faster and work harder. The boy was innocent and tried his best to meet the man’s requests.
When the boy and man were in the midst of climbing the steepest hill the old man called out to a bystander “Hop in, there is enough room for the both of us.” With a cackle like the devil another fully grown man hopped in the cart. The boy was in his lowest gear, peddling as hard as he could and still the cart would hardly move. “Another!” The man cried out pointing a young female who had stopped to watch. She eagerly jumped on the laps of the two men in the cart as they continued to climb.
The riders cackled with excitement seeing the boy struggle to climb the hill and in time a crowd gathered. Windows where opening to investigate the commotion the riders were causing. Encouraged by the first man’s enthusiasm the crowd joined in with the jeering. Strangers started jumping into the cart uninvited. Slower and slower the boy climbed the hill. “We will break him!” Cried another man jumping into the cart. The cart had become too heavy for the boy and finally he could climb no further.
Cackles came from the first man and shrieks of laughter came from the crown. “A stick!” someone cried out handing the first man a small piece of wood. “What do we pay you for!” said the first man who began whipping the boy with his new tool. As much as the boy struggled he could not move the cart which by this time was filled with newcomers who had joined in the fun.
A young child and his mother stood a distance off watching the scene unfold. Seeing the struggle the child hugged his mother’s leg and asked “Why are they doing this mommy? Don’t they see that he can go no further?”
“Let’s go sweaty.” His mother softly replied and took her child away from the biker and his spectators.
“Grab some more sticks!” Cried a woman from a second story window, and three men with what resembled more of a log than a stick began beating the boy who rolled off his bike to the ground where he curled up like a dead spider.
Like Hyenas who have had their fill the passengers began getting out of the cart. Putting arms around one another, laughing they walked away into the night and the crowd dispersed leaving the boy lying on the ground.