Saturday, June 14, 2014

Haiku Stair Kisses.

This week my brother and his family have been visiting the island. Because he and his wife are easily persuaded by the possibility of being arrested, Friday morning at 1am Peter, Robert, Jenny, and I ventured off to hike Haiku Stairs.

This was my third time on the stairs, but only my second time finishing. The first attempt was with Peter our Freshman year at BYUH.


At this point in 2011 Peter and I were close friends who everyone liked to ask if we were sure we weren't dating. We saw each other everyday and could both talk for hours or sit in silence for hours, which ever struck our fancy at the moment. During one of these moments Peter suddenly stated,

"If we were to kiss, I'd want it to mean something."
This exclamation scared me big time, because I thought I knew what it would be followed up with.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"I'd want you to be my girlfriend." Oop, there it is.

Within this one moment, our happy relationship seemed at danger of being squished by the large ungainly elephant that had often so comfortably sat in the rooms we occupied together. The truth was I loved Peter. I loved him possibly more than anyone I had known in my life thus far, but his friendship had meant everything to me, and I had no faith in my ability to have a romantic relationship with anyone without destroying every last hope we had of being friends in the future. I had spent the first semester of life at university wishing for friends and happiness and now that Peter had provided me with both, I was in no way looking to dispose of that.
I tried to explain this to Peter, telling him that he meant too much to me, and I didn't want to just be an ex-girlfriend discouraged from writing him on his mission in the fears of being a distraction. He lied by telling me he understood (he totally didn't), and firmly told me in response,

"That's fine, but then you cannot kiss me."
"Okay, I respect that. You can kiss me, though."

He agreed and we went back to running my lines for The Winter's Tale.

Now that we had established this kiss stalemate, I became more relaxed than ever before in my relationship with Peter, and as the time for his departure from Hawaii ticked closer, I became sure that we were going to, at some point, share a first kiss.
Then one day a friend invited me to hike stairway and I saw a beautiful opportunity unfold before me. I would persuade Peter to join the group of us going, and on top of the mountain, as sunrise broke, I would manage to manipulate him to kiss me and think it was his idea. IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL PLAN.
As fate would have it, before we had reached the halfway mark on the hike a guard scaled the mountain and sent us home, so my plan was foiled, and then the rest of the week I watched my world crumble as Peter began to spend time almost exclusively with my best friend and I was caught in the crappy contradiction which is non-dating someone who you're ridiculously close with; I was so incredibly upset with Peter, but knew I had no legitimate right to be.

Three years later and a few days before our mid-night hike I told Peter about this secret kiss plan, and he agreed that we should make things right and kiss on the top of a mountain at sunrise. Awesome.

Let's take a moment to break down the pure naivety of my 19 year old self in believing I could create a sublime romantic moment after climbing 3,922 ladder-like stairs in the middle of the night. When you hike stairway you're consistently at an awkward purgatory between burning heat as you lose your body weight in sweat, and intense cold as you literally ascend into the clouds. Your legs are stiff and sore, you are covered in mud, plant debris, and scratches, and you are soaked from cloud matter and sweat. In addition, once you reach the top, you find yourself in a windy and ice cold WWI bunker which is muddy, rusty, and covered in graffiti and stray rubbish. Also, this is not a private place. You have anywhere from a dozen to a few hundred other hikers equally as sweaty, hot/cold, and exhausted as you. Nowhere in this situation will any socially apt 18 year old boy in a kiss stalemate with his best friend think, you know what I really want to do right now? Mack on that sweat drenched and sleepy face before me! Her hair is tangled, her face is wet, she smells of B.O. and I just want to use all my spare energy to kiss her!!

Don't get me wrong, I completely adore this hike, and have no regrets for the three times I have attempted it (and two times I have completed it), but I can't help but laugh at the things I will romanticise even when I am completely at fault in doing so. What else will I envision as being a tender moment between my lover and me?

Future dates of extreme romanticism with Peter and Melly:

  • Cleaning out a horses' stable that hasn't been cleaned for years, and sadly the horse has diarrhoea. 
  • Working in a taro field. 
  • Street sweeping. 
  • Picking up trash with inmates on the side of the highway. 
  • Cockroach mating or possibly cockroach racing. 
  • Climbing in the sewers. 
Do let me know if you have any other suggestions. And if you come to Hawaii, we will gladly help you break the law. 



  1. I love this story so much. That's it, I'm coming to Hawaii again, just to meet you in real life.

    1. YAAAY! :) Please do. I just adore you so.