Wailea is a beautiful Dreamland created by the wealthy. It’s a comfortable world to live in for as long as you are able to suspend the reality around which this little bubble floats. Keep knowledge of the many violences required to sculpt this oasis for the privileged at bag and bask in comfort. And it is comfortable. Blooming orchids organically spring from the trunks of trees, the grass is as soft underfoot as the sand freshly leveled by gentle rolling waves. As each day comes to a close the ambiance is heightened as tiki flames illuminate the night; twinkle lights and flickering lanterns light paths winding throughout paradise.
Ten minutes up the road a homeless man naps on the #10 with a napkin over his face. He keeps one foot on his wheelchair at all times, attached to which are all his earthly belongings. When the jolts and bumps ineviteably startle him awake again he scans the bus for familiar faces, acknowledging his fellow frequent riders with a big, toothless smile. His community is built from and around a level of urban poverty that is difficult to comprehend from the outside. It is plagued with mental illness, addiction, and disability but, make no mistake, it is a community that values connection and familiarity just like any other.
If I allow myself to consider the rolling community on the #10 for too long the seams of Wailea begin to fray. I take note of the many callused hands required to maintain Dreamland and the grafts forcing the orchids to the trunks of trees. I appreciate the efforts made to make my stay easy and carefree. I am also self-conscious about it.