Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hawaii By Night

(...is actually the name of the strip club across the street from where I'm sitting. But it also seemed like a fitting title...)

I'm sitting outside the Starbucks at Kuhio and Seaside on a lovely, breezy, Honolulu evening. There's a couple of street performers down the way, and the low rhythmic drumming pulses like a heartbeat as the nightlife flows by. This really is a very pleasant city. Beautiful scenery, lovely weather, wonderful people. Hawaii has such a unique and adaptive culture. I'd love to know more about what goes on when the tourists aren't looking.

I get the sense, though, that I wouldn't actually want to live here. I'm not really sure why I think that.

When we were in medical school, one of my colleagues was in the military, and discovered that if you didn't match into any of the military programs, you could go through the general match process and get into a civilian one. He thought, no problem, and just didn't interview at any of the military programs, so that he could match into a civilian program closer to his family. Great idea, right?

Except...

He was one wicked smart guy. In the top ranks of our class, good CV, excellent board scores. He looked so good on paper, in fact, that at least one of the military programs ranked him without even meeting him. And he matched in Hawaii.

I always have felt kind of bad for him in that Hawaii and Iowa are a long way apart. And that was the same year I matched into a program I wasn't expecting (although, I ranked them third, it was kind of my fault. Or, at least I had a hand in it). And I can imagine being stuck on an island in the middle of the Pacific can be daunting for a Midwesterner. And certainly one person's paradise can be another one's hell.

But still.

I have distinct memories of a weekend sometime about January. I was in the middle of a q2 weekend, which meant I hadn't slept all night, and was due for another sleepless night of call the next day. I already hated my life and my program and felt for all the world like the worst resident ever. And I dig my damn car out of where it's been plowed in, and I drive home, and there's four fucking feet of snow in my driveway.

I thought of my friend from medical school at that moment. I thought of the night we'd spent out drinking with a bunch of our other friends during Senior Disorientation Week, and we talked about how we were both trying very hard to accept where we'd been sent, were trying to be optimistic, but when the veil of denial was lifted by a large bucket of something rum-containing and fruity with eight straws and half a bottle of maraschino cherries in it, neither of us was really very happy with the way things turned out.

I felt like FedExing him four feet of snow.

In the end, I lost touch with him, because I lost touch with almost everyone during that year, and he's not on Facebook (which is how I've managed to reconnect with a lot of my classmates). I still think about him once in a while. He was a good guy, and a good friend, and I hope that in the end, his misstep worked out as well as mine ultimately did. I thought about asking if anyone knew if he was still on the island, but his residency should be over, and I expect that he isn't.

Besides, how would I explain that big soggy box he got intern year?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sunday musing and memories abound in places you probably thought would never happen.

Remember what Mikey said? "Try it you may like it" SOOOOO---- try to find him over there. He may have discovered----"He likes it" and stayed.

What have you got to loose? No long distance phone call costs. hehehe
Enjoy enjoy Carol