Justin's Life... January 1-31, 1997

Justin's Life... January 1-31, 1997

January 2, 1997


Yeah, I know, I haven't written in forever... life has just been CrAzY with too many things going on.

From Where I Left Off...

Once the COMM 200 final was done, I confidently headed home. I'd gotten 92's on the first two exams, a 79 on the third, and an 84 on the term paper. As long as I didn't totally screw up on the final exam, I knew I'd have a "B" and since I'd studied and studied (I didn't find out my term paper grade until the end of the final.), I didn't totally screw up. I actually knew most of the stuff and so, I was pretty sure I'd have a "B" in one form or the other.

For the rest of Tuesday the 10th, I relaxed. I was a tad upset that Larry didn't get more excited about my "A-" in COMP102, but we went out to dinner that night to "celebrate" so everything ended up alright.

By the time the Cinema 190 final came around on Friday the 13th, I'd rewatched several of the films that had been assigned during the semester and re-read most of the handouts. Amazingly, I B.S.ed my way through it and headed home to start packing for a trip to Hawaii which would begin the next day.

On the afternoon of Saturday the 14th, Larry and I boarded a United Airlines plane to Kona, Hawaii. I'd never flown over water before, or ever really been outside the continental US, but the plane trip didn't seem all that unique. The Kona airport, however, did. Before walking up to the counter where Larry bought me a lei (By the way, I thought Hawaii just gave lei's to people as they deplaned, but I guess that's just a Hawaii PR planted myth.), I noticed the airport was completely outdoors. The metal detectors, the luggage check-in, ticketing, it was all under wooden canopies; there were no walls.

So, anyway, we rented a car and headed to our hotel, the Hilton Waikoloa Beach Resort. The check-in and tram service within the hotel to our specific location seemed impressive, but due to the nightfall, I couldn't really see that much about the island.

The next morning, Larry woke and said he was going to the concierge level. As it was early (before 9AM ), I said I was staying in the room, but it was pointless. I was awake and curious. So I opened the window to find a view that was pretty darn incredible, even for a non-nature loving boy such as myself. I wanted to get outside, but I didn't know where Larry was, so I put on my clothes and waited for his return. When he got back, we talked for a few minutes, made some phone calls, then headed for the pool.

After playing in the slightly chilly water and wading from one end under the waterfalls to the other end with the sand beach, we saw a stand where the ocean sports company endorsed by the hotel was giving complimentary scuba diving lessons. As one of the main things I wanted to do while in Hawaii was scuba, we signed up for the 1:30PM class.

After learning about how the equipment worked above water, we went under and began to swim from one side of the extremely large pool to the other. My BCD ("Buoancy Control Device" or something like that) had a button which stuck, so I either had too much air in it and floated to the top, or too little and sunk to the bottom. Nonetheless, the experience was fun. The only problem happened when I looked at Larry and laughed. --He reminded me of the frog in "The Frog and The Toad"-- When I smiled, the water went into my eyepiece, I got nervous, started concentrating on that, and stopped breathing.

So, anyway, the first afternoon in Hawaii was quite enjoyable. Larry, who hadn't really expressed any interest in scuba diving before, liked it way more than I did... but I have to admit, it was koool.

By the time our first full day in Hawaii was over, we'd retired to our room and ordered room service. It was great.

The next morning, waking up wasn't quite so wonderful. The sound of a drill was coming through the wall at 6AM... and it wouldn't stop. Finally, we simply got up and decided to begin our day.

Just outside the resort were a few shops, so Larry and I stopped to take a look. When we came across an information desk type of deal, we asked the clerk there about the volcanoes on the island. He gave us directions and suggested stopping points along the way.

January 8, 1997


Before we left the guy at the information desk, we also asked him about a nude beach which I'd found listed online somewhere. A search for "nude beach Hawaii" didn't yield much, but I did manage to find someone's personal page which included "Kaloko-Honokohau Beach, Big Island, Hawaii" in his Top Ten Nude Beaches... but Kaloko-Honohohau was no where to be found. The closest thing I could find on the map was Honokohau Beach a few miles from the Kona airport.

So, anyway, I bashfully pretended to look at one of the shop's displays while Larry asked the information guy about the beach. But, of course, Larry knew what I was doing and yelled for me to come over so that I could listen to the directions.

I arrived and the info guy said, yes, it was a nude beach, and that it was in the Honohohau Harbor. He circled the area on the map and then as we started to leave, gave us the "but wait, let me tell you about these time shares." I knew there were just too many info booths set up for the state to be paying for them. They were an info desk/time share recruitment combo.

So we listened to him for a few more minutes, then went on our way towards the volcanoes.

A couple hours later, after driving half the circumference of the island and after stopping at a few little places like an unbelievably small general store and a couple of amazing waterfalls, we arrived at the volcano. Once the car was parked, we got out and walked along the boundary lines which were placed to keep people from falling in the crater. It was a tad eerie, as steam was rising through various random cracks beneath our feet, and the thought of hot magma below was preoccupying my mind, but I managed to pose for a picture before we left.

We got back to the hotel, ate dinner at the Italian restaurant, then went to sleep. -- Oh yeah, and we asked the waitress at the restaurant about the nude beach. She said she'd been there herself and told us a detailed story about her husband being embarassed.

Speeding forward, as this is boring even for me to write , the next day began with Larry and I heading out to look for the nude beach.

We'd passed Honohohau Harbor several times, as it was on the way into the town of Kona, but hadn't been down the Honohohau road, towards the ocean before. When we did get to the end of the small road, there were about five cars parked a few meters from the ocean... and there was a beach... but it was only about 20 feet wide and all the people were clothed.

Figuring that the online info could have been mistaken, but figuring that the info guy knew what he was talking about and the waitress told a way too detailed story to be B.S.ing, I was determined to find the nude beach. I got Larry to walk on down past the twenty feet beach, on around the coastline, but there was nothing to be found there either.

Needless to say, I was in a bad mood. As there's a tad of an exhibitionist in me (like you couldn't tell that ) and as I'm one for trying new experiences, I'd tried to convince Larry to go to Black's Beach in San Diego a couple times, but he never would. Hawaii seemed like the perfect place: There was no chance that we'd know anyone.

So, since the nude beach didn't seem to exist, Larry said we should go to the a white sand beach back towards the hotel. We got in the car and arrived at that beach a little later.

Once the beach activities were done, we headed back to the hotel and to the spa. OK, here's the deal on spas. As much as straight guys would like to deny it, they are places where guys go to check each other out. Let's face it. Even if you're a straight guy, you still wonder if all your equipment is "normal." There aren't a lot of places to see what "normal" is, and since most of the actors in porn movies couldn't really be considered "normal" there's still that question. (Confused yet?) So, anyway, the spa's a place where guys check out other guys, either for sexual excitement or self-confirmation.

When Larry and I arrived at the spa, we checked in then got undressed and wrapped towels around our waists. From there, we went back to the actual spa area where I took a quick shower then got into the whirlpool. When I got in, I noticed that a guy in his mid to late thirties was standing in the whirlpool. Standing, as I'm sure you know, isn't the normal position for whirlpool usage, but another guy was wearing a bikini in the whirlpool, which also isn't normal for the spa, so I just chalked it up to no big deal. Perhaps the guy standing was simply cooling down. But as time went on, he started, well, fondling himself. A scratch... another scratch... I didn't know, but I thought he was making a pass. And so, I got out and found Larry, who was still in the showers.

When Larry and I came back to the spa, the guy had gone from the whirlpool and was no where to be seen. Larry and I got back in, then the guy re-appeared. He didn't get in, but rather hovered in between the sauna and spa with a towel around his waist. I just talked to Larry and ignored him as much as possible.

Before long, Larry was out of the whirlpool, laying on a bench with a towel draped over himself and I was getting too hot in the whirlpool. The guy had disappeared again, so I got out and went to the sauna. There was a basket full of used towels by the door and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to go in with or without one, so I dropped mine into the basket and went inside.

I hadn't been there for more than a couple minutes when the infamous whirlpool guy came in. I kept my hands draped across my crotch as to not reveal anymore than I had to. The whirlpool guy had a towel around his waist when he came in, but when he sat down, about five feet away on a wall perpendicular to the one I was sitting against, he turned his legs in my direction and dropped the towel down so that his wares were fully visible.

Less than ten seconds had passed when Larry came in, he said "Here's a towel" and threw it to me. I said something about how I didn't know whether or not I needed one and wrapped it around my waist, but I left the sauna within the next few minutes anyway. When I got out, I found Larry, we showered, then went back to the room.

On the tram ride back, Larry told me that that guy was stalking me. I told him that I knew as much, but that I knew he wasn't going to get anything, so it wasn't that big of a deal. Larry said he was creepy and was the type of person who would try to find out our room number to track us down. I told him that he was paranoid and that was that.

January 31, 1997


As it seems I'm never going to get caught up, here's a quick synopsis of how the trip and December went. On the Wednesday in Hawaii, Larry and I went scuba diving. Unfortunately, my ears couldn't stand the pressure and so at any depth below 30 feet, I was in pain, and the pain was intense, as though someone were driving a screwdriver into my ear and even a depth change of a couple feet brought the most immense pain... I spent the entire time trying to stay at a level which didn't kill my ears. In fact, I focused so much on that, I barely noticed the surroundings. And not noticing the surroundings had its price, too. I scraped my knee on some coral and began bleeding into the water [The scrape, incidently, was so deep that my knee is still healing as I write this over a month later].

When I got back to the surface, which seemed hours later, the pain didn't disappear. Sure, it was less, but it still hurt and now I had the added worry of thinking I'd permanently damaged my eardrum. And of course, this wasn't a single dive deal we'd signed up for, but rather two sights and two dives... but there was no was I was going back under the water to be put in that pain again. And so, I stayed on the boat, hiding from the intense sun under a beach towel, as Larry and 20 some other people went diving. I felt like a puss for staying on board, but I knew not damaging my ear was more important.

The next day, we woke and I skipped breakfast while Larry ate at the concierge level. I wrote a few postcards, sat next to the window just taking in the view, then when he arrived back, the two of us headed to check out the time share place which the guy'd told us about the Monday before.

It seemed nice enough and for $10,000, a week a year for the rest of forever seemed like a good deal... but we didn't bother actually taking the tour or talking to anyone.

From the time share condos, we went to the Honohohau Harbor and once again began the search for the nude beach. --but wait, I forgot to write that the day at the white sand beach, when we were walking back to the car, Larry asked the lifeguard if there were any nude beaches on the island. The lifeguard answered with the one at the Honohohau Harbor. Larry explained that we'd been there, but only saw a small beach with everyone clothed. The lifeguard responded that we needed to go off to the right before going past the actual docks and that there was a path to a much larger beach through the treeed area.

After going down the road towards the harbor, we took a right, before the actual ships, and came to a place where several cars were parked along the road. There seemed to be no place where their drivers could have gone, as the road dead ended and there were no real trails, but it just so happened that a guy had arrived a few seconds before us and was walking in the apparent direction of no where.

We got out and followed him... there was a path, cut through the trees, which I thought had been blacktopped (but now realize it was just exposed lava ), and which went on for a thousand or so feet before coming out to a beach. We could see a few people, but they were all clothed... but I wasn't giving up. So many people had told us about it, it had to be there.

Larry said he wasn't walking any further, but I said I was continuing. I walked a few hundred feet more and came upon a naked guy who was sunbathing in a little sort of nook, out of direct sight. I kept walking and before long, I was definitely at the nude part. I even felt overly self-conscious about the fact that I was wearing clothes.

I walked the length of the beach, seeing what I could see, then came back to tell Larry that it was definitely the right place. He said ok, that we'd come back the next day, then we went back to the hotel. Nightfall came, we played in the pool and the hot tub, then went to bed.

The next day, we did go back to the nude beach. After a couple minutes sitting in my clothes on the towel, just looking around, I stood up, dropped my shorts, and took off my shirt. Larry was a bit more reluctant, but after some of the guys left and after he got into the water, he took his trunks off. We played in the water a bit, then having the reluctant exhibitionist personality that I do, I posed for a couple pictures while reclining on the beach.

We hung around there for a bit then went back to the hotel and had dinner. I got ID'd for the first time since my 21st birthday, which was on the 17th, and then we got on the plane to go home.

After the all night flight back, I slept most of Saturday, then Sunday night at 2:47AM, Larry got the idea that we should call Rich, his ex from a while back, at his workplace (as he'd apparently moved without a forwarding address or new telephone number).

He was there and seemed genuinely excited to have heard from us. He said he'd come over to the house at noon the next day. Larry was happy and it seemed koool that we'd be seeing him again.

The next day came and at 1:35PM, he still hadn't showed. So, I left a note on the door and left.

Somewhere between then and five o'clock, Larry talked with Rich on the phone. He said he'd overslept, but would be over at around 5PM... and he showed.

The three of us caught up and had dinner at a little Mexican place then Rich went on his way.

A couple days later, he called to see how we were doing and asked if he could come over the next morning... but he never showed and we haven't heard from him since. It seems crazy to me: Why would he call to ask if he could come over then not come over and not even call to explain?

This was also my first Christmas away from home. The worst hit me when at around 4AM, I was filling the stockings and realized that mine was for the most part empty. I'd planned and bought little trinkets and candy for Larry's and Katie's but I'd forgotten to get myself anything. That had always been my mom's job, but she wasn't here. I came back into the bedroom and started full-on crying. Through the tears, I explained to Larry why I was homesick and as the time difference meant it was nearly 7AM in Kentucky, he called my mom. I talked to her and felt a little better. (Ironically, when her Christmas care package did get here (after Christmas) she'd bought the one item, a white chocolate snowman, which I'd bought for myself.)

As opposed to last Christmas, when I opened my presents early and got depressed because I thought Larry had bought me something without thinking about it, this year, I actually waited until Christmas day to open the presents with Larry, and I was more than happy. He'd thought about what I would want and spent time in buying it for me. Sure, he bought a couple things that were really what he liked (like the Nintendo 64), but he also got things that I'd put on my wish list like a Papa Smurf stuffed "animal", Jaz drive, and software. I got him things like wooden puzzle/brainteasers, the Monty Python CD-ROM, other software, a lava lamp, etc, etc.. We'd both actually thought about things the other would like, so it was much koooler than last year. In fact, Larry even said it was the best Christmas he'd ever had and cried from happiness.

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© 1997 Justin Clouse

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