Henry Rollins: Bored In Hawaii
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Saturday KCRW broadcast.]
I am stationed in Honolulu. It is work that brings me here. Due to some scheduling changes out of my control, my stay went from three to 10 days. I was quite "caught out there" on all fronts. The most essential things missing were the gear needed to make a new radio show for KCRW, a job I take with obsessive seriousness. The least essential was extra clothes.
I was loaned some clothes to wear and while I know that it is not for me to be picky, I do feel rather ridiculous in the T-shirts provided to me, which are definitely for a man many years my junior. When I wear stuff like this, I look like I am working undercover or that I have stolen my son's favorite threads. I am adjusting.
This same schedule change has me on hold for five days. Five days with nothing required of me. In Honolulu. At a nice hotel.
It is one ironic twist after another in these parts. When I step out of the elevator on the lobby level, the scene explodes with life. The place is packed with people. They are on vacation. They have saved money for this. They have counted down the days and told their friends where they are going and made them envious. They are getting their money's worth. Who can blame them? It is absolutely beautiful around here. Some of the sights, you can barely believe they are real. Nice weather, friendly people -- what's not to like?
I feel guilty walking among them. I am getting paid to be here and I am bored to the point of depression by it all.
I am an interloper taking up space among the celebrants, a voyeur into the lives of all these happy people who walk hand in hand into air-conditioned corporate food outlets or to the welcoming, beautiful Pacific. All of it is wasted on me. I am a fraud in paradise.
Having a hotel room affords me access to television. I don't have one at home, and so many cable stars who are familiar to millions are often little known to me.
I watched part of an episode of A&E's Duck Dynasty, which documents the lives of a clutch of bearded Louisiana men and their families. They have made a fortune making duck calls for hunting.
It made me think: How would you like to be a duck, hearing what you think is another duck who wants to get together with you? Your duck heart is elated that in this cruel world, there is the chance for romance. You fly, with great expectation, toward what you think is a magic duck moment, only to be blown to pieces by some camo-clad, bearded, redneck fuck whose show is watched by more than 8 million people. I am sure they have their permits but, damn, what a way to go.