Staring Out of a Window in Downtown Honolulu

Prompt: Fact that reads like fiction

I stare out the window. I see two men leaning against the wall with needles in their hands, one man bends to stick a needle into his ankle. Across the street a man on a moped holds a sword and begins to shout curses to the sky with his arms help up in supplication. I hear screaming, a naked woman runs past. 160 years ago Kalākaua looked out this same window, did he see young people walking down Ka’ahumanu Street faces full of hope, greeting each other with a promise of a return to hula and the ways of their ancestors? As he wrote Hawai’i Pono’ī could he know the sadness, the homelessness, the inequality that would turn this corner into a place of despair? A place where a dirty young woman sleeps on the sidewalk, where an old man shuffles down the street shoeless. He stops to urinate and then moves on, head down, moaning in misery as he continues to shuffle, alone.

Talk story

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