It was Friday. It was before 7am. It was the Bohemian, Jeb and I, driving to the bus stop in early morning light.
It was the day commemorating the official entrance of Hawaii as part of the United States of America: Statehood Day.
We were in a state. As in, a state of exhaustion. A state of uncertainty.
Jeb was on day seven of what had been a rough introduction to middle school. He’d had repeated nights of two to three hours of homework, and was driving to the bus that would escort him to a day of at least three quizzes. Welcome to sixth grade!
The Bohemian, he was headed to give fingerprints to the government. For the second time. “As if they have changed!” our friends laughed, when we told them about his appointment. On the positive side, this ‘biometric’ appointment was indication that our petition to remove the conditions of his green card was in process. This was standard procedure. Yes, two times is typical.
On the negative side, the only location that offers the service is on another island, and with one airline having a monopoly on inter-island flights, the Bohemian’s twenty minute plane ride was costing us nearly $300. The appointment would take less than thirty minutes, but he would miss a whole day of work.
The state of our island was one of a minor panic. We were all carefully monitoring the tropical depression named “Kilo” that seemed to have hurricane potential, on a direct path curving right to us. Grocery stores were running out of shopping carts at the door, while pallet loads of bottled water were being crammed into cars. Gas station lines were spilling out on to the streets.
My state was a concoction of family concerns swirled with a list of To-Do’s. After bus and airport drop-offs, I’d be with shopping parents picking through the remains of back-to-school supplies, trying to better organize Jeb and his huge workload. I’d also be grabbing stashes of toilet paper just in case the hurricane hit.
Another to-do was soccer practice waiting at day’s end. What I didn’t know as we drove that sunrise morning, was that the future practice would play out like sketches from “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”
A six-year-old and three-year old would be allowed to scrimmage with the eleven year olds, and for reasons unclear, the six-year-old would punch one player in the gut and one in the testicles. The three-year old would pull down his pants and pee on another team member. Jeb would be one of the three aforementioned victims of foul play from the ornery little minis.
This was the state of our soccer team.
I tried to impart positivity into the cab of our car, as the Bohemian, Jeb, and I drove. The sun rose behind us, streaming in through the windows, shining light on the dewy glass.
“I hope you each have a great day today. You’ve got missions to accomplish. I hope they’re smooth and easy.”
They thanked me. We drove on quietly.
There were African Tulip trees lining the highway, a bloom in red flowers. They seemed unfazed, despite the pending storm.
There was the figure of a person, near the trees, along the roadside. A hitchhiker, I thought-not uncommon-though as we approached, we saw the woman there did not have her thumb out.
Passing by, we could see her simply standing, arms at her side. Her head was slightly tilted to the morning sky, her eyes closed. Her lips curved in a contented smile, as if she were delighting in some special secret.
Most curious was what adorned her head. I can only describe it as a hat, though it was merely a frame of what might have been a hat, outlining the shape of a pyramid. A kind of pyramid hat, its metal glistening in the sun, resting atop her crown.
The way the metal stiffly protruded from her head reminded me of the orthodontic headgear some unlucky ones were required to wear on their faces in high school. Though in this instance, the headgear appeared to be blissfully voluntary, and I could only guess the corrective intent probably had something to do with chakras and energy fields.
The random, roadside woman was in a state of pyramid-induced bliss. As we zipped by at 50 mph, I was left to laugh out loud at the absurdity.
I couldn’t help but reflect upon that swift moment of time, as the three of us passed by the pyramid hat woman. For a moment, we were all in the exact time and space. Yet, each of us were experiencing very different mental states.
Beneath the gleam of metal and light, her reality was one, all her own, and it appeared as though she was quite happy with it.
As for us, Jeb’s reality was future quizzes, the Bohemian was thinking fingerprints, and I was imagining an aisle of three-ringed, tabbed dividers. I don’t think anyone in our vehicle had upturned corners on their mouths, but we were trying to stay positive.
Did we simply need metal, cone-shaped hats?
Later, I was so curious about our roadside sighting that I did some online research. I learned that pyramid headgear is not isolated to Kauai. Apparently there is a man in London who has been regularly spotted sporting this geometric frame on his noggin. It’s been the subject of various blogs, and a great summary, “Mystery of London’s Pyramid Hat Man” can be found on “Superproduct.”
Hey, I don’t know. Maybe there’s something to it.
Sans the headgear, in the end, Jeb got 100% on his science quiz. The Bohemian sailed through fingerprinting. I found the binders for Jeb’s schoolwork, and he survived the soccer practice wee-bullies. That storm named Kilo, passed by the island chain, leaving only rain.
Maybe the pyramid technology has far-reaching range. Maybe our heads got a cleansing that morning, if only briefly, as we passed by that roadside woman. She certainly gave us all a chuckle. A state of laughter is healing, and that’s where I’d love to stay.