If we’re being honest, the island looks a lot like a butt. Not a particularly fleshy butt. Just a regular, average sized butt with its central cleave, and its two proverbial cheeks. No one would use the words ’round’, ‘thick’, or ‘juicy’ to describe it. Nor the word ‘bubble’. It would have no trouble fitting into a pair of Apple bottom jeans were there a pair large enough to accommodate such a landmass. No, Sir Mix A Lot would not have rapped about it. Becky would not have bothered to look at it. And there is no junk in its trunk. But! And I do mean but. There are hidden treasures in its depths, as there might be a half eaten zucchini squash or a hot wheels car wrapped in a Trojan condom.
One cheek faces due west, toward Midway, toward Tokyo, toward itself if you traverse the whole planet. Then again all things on Earth point to themselves if you’re around long enough to make a full rotation. Separating the westernmost cheek from its counterpart is a glittering channel of water that flows magically north. The other cheek, the more eastward of the two, is where the Shaman built his cabin, in a convenient glade entirely bereft of landmines. It serves as a safe haven, a treaty zone so to speak, for the island’s fauna, who by now have learned to avoid the north end of the island, where the trees run sparse and the underbrush gives way to glistening white pebble beach.
It is there where most of the unexploded ordnance remains, still unexploded, heavily oxidized by a half century of Pacific ocean rain. Landmines, the exploding dinosaur bones of the military industrial age, the perverted, unwanted cousin of the iron spike, the least child-friendly jack in the box on the market, the pimpled ghost of Brigadier-General Gabriel J. Rains. And here they are, of all places, on an invisible island in Hawaii, abandoned by the Yankees, left to fester; on this island which the locals have aptly named, Moku Pai.
The leaves do not turn on this island. There is no autumn to which a New Englander might be accustomed. No crimsons. No apricots. No maroons. Nothing. With the exception of the landmines, made flaky and red by corroded alloy and too much sun, looking like scattered acne pockmarks from the sky, the island is as green as a sugar snap pea garnished with cilantro and encased in emerald.
Yes, and though we’ve established the resemblance of the island to a butt, we have not specified whose butt it is. One might, considering the evidence, liken the island to the rearend of one jolly green giant, lush in its verdant flora, plump in all the right places (although you will find no canned vegetables here; nor will you find a large wooden sign that reads,’Welcome to the Valley’ as appropriate as such a sign might be for an island resembling a pair of buttocks. But ultimately such a resemblance is neither here nor there. It serves no purpose beyond the crude and the whimsical. Yet if whimsy is our goal then we must note the following: that Moku Pai, in truth, resembles neither butt nor Georgia peach, but, as the island’s name suggests, a great big green pie, sliced lazily in two, and floating, always floating, in an endless ocean of whale clad blue.