Thursday, June 30, 2016

We are the story

Dream's time is long and short/ thick and slender/ all together in a blender. Alexa had sorted the puakenikeni into two heaps, separating the already orange blossoms from those still cream and milk. She enjoyed having her hands busy, and automatically made up small ditties, rhymes and tunes. The dream time tune was catchy and loud enough for everyone to hear. The presence of The Others throbbed with Alexa's tune, Uncle Moon watched as Beatrix and Leslie hooked the lei needles with thread and began to string. Sweet stuff.

"Honolulu was one peachy town. Me and my truck was loaded and ready before da sun had chance puka through and cross da mountain. Koolaus, majestic and full watah. Always wet. I was one early bird, so being milk man was a match made in heaven." Moon paused when he saw Alexa waiting for him to pick up the third needle. He shook his head, then lifted it toward her. Stringing the leis would be the women's job, not so much because it was only wahine jobs, but more because in this dream needles weren't for the ghost. His wavy presence was already turning more translucent and he knew his kupuna were telling him 'Hurry up Moon."

"My customas came like family for me. Twenty-two houses I delivered milk. In dos days no such tig as get tip for your job. You know, I did my job and every week my customas got one bill, and every Friday I collect.  Mostly I saw about half of em in the morning. Da odah half was still sleeping," he laughed and clicked his teeth remembering, bobbing his head.

"But one family, only one. One old haole lady used to be a libarian downtown. She was always up when I walked up her back porch. And every day, EVERY DAY she had cup coffee and crackah for me. I never failed for spend time wit her. Nice lady. Lonely but. And when was time for me to give her her bill, she always had her money -- everybody paid cash in dos days. Plus she had a new book for me for read. Libary books. She said she still borrowed books, and we got to know each uddah pretty good."

Bea had heard this story many times, and knew it was time for her to ask, "Uncle Moon what kind of crackers did she have?"

"Oh, she was a champion crackah wahine. Sometimes was soda crackah with small slice cheese. Anotha day might be Jersey Cremes, my favorite with margarine spread on top. Crackahs good for dunking in hot coffee. Even when broke, the crackah taste ono."

Morning memories of her own childhood mornings swam through the dream time. Evaporated milk or small pitchers of cream top milk turned breakfast coffee into a ritual Bea would take with her to the grave. One of those blessings in the rough that lasted when life turned into a battering ram and you needed something to lean into. Beatrix stroked the wiry hair of the blonde comfort dog. The memory transferred, Crock turned to absorb the woman's memory. Coffee and cream would become one of those things between the blonde and Bea. Funny how that works.

"Here's da part I came for leave wit you, Honey Girl. Dis is how Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Moemoe-laukahi Blunt share in one big story. The Tale of Peter Rabbit was made by anudah Beatrix. You fullas know which one yah?" The lei makers nodded.

"Well one morning, I was having small kine trouble with my truck. Da old gal was coughing and chugging up Nu'uanu Avenue like she had hano ... asthma. So I pulled over and took a look at the engine. I was pretty good mechanic in dos days. My white clothes got little bit dirty, but da truck strarted up good. Spa'k plugs and loose wire. By the time I got to the old haole lady's place was almost ten o'clock. Pretty late for me. I got this funny kine feeling when I came up her driveway and pulled up the brake."

Alexa was used to listening to stories, and knew her place was to listen. But you couldn't resist, and before Moon moved on with the tale she asked, "Uncle, what kine funny feeling you got?"

"Was like wind lifting up from below the trees. But no more wind. Was the feeling of wind inside me. I could feel trees and wind inside me. And, my feet came real itchy. I had to hemo my shoes to rub."

What happened next was the domain of myth and the gifts of manawanui.. It was a Monday. Instead of their usual morning coffee and crackers ritual, Moon Amona found a basket woven of lauhala at the back porch. A quilt of patchwork cotton was stitched into a lining of yellow flannel. The blanket was snugly enfolding a small curly headed baby with chocolate eyes as round as beach stones. The right thumb found a home in the small mouth. Tucked into the side of the quilt was a small First Edition copy of Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit. A letter addressed to "Milk Man Moon" extended from the edge of the pages.

This is what the letter said.

"My dear Milk Man Moon,

This girl is my grand-daughter, my mo'o. Her mother, my daughter is lele. She died in childbirth. My daughter, you never met, but she was the beat of my heart and when she died, I lost my reason to keep going. You know about mechanics, so I will leave my explanation at that.

The other paper in this envelope will give you everything you need to hanai this girl without any problems from the haole world. Have no fear about this, Moon. She is well protected, and you are the perfect papa for her.

I have left my milk money in a separate envelope, it's in my empty bottle on the back porch. Don't be afraid of my spirit, me and my ohana will be forever your Aumakua. Please, don't knock or open the back door. Stay outside. Your place is with the girl. Her name is Beatrix Blunt. Her sacred name you will add when the name comes to you in dreams.

Sorry about the truck, and coffee.

Mahalo nui loa a pau. The puakenikeni is for your wife.

Your friend forever,

Mary Blunt

P.S. There is a blue and white tin of crackers, under the baby. I will keep you supplied trust me on that dear Milk Man Moon.

Now what?

Footnotes to come ... 

No comments:

Post a Comment