Thursday, March 17, 2005

The homeless problem

Back when I was daydreaming about living on Maui in a van, I really thought about it more as living in a small boat, only with better access to fresh food and civilization. This is pretty much the way it's been, especially when we park at Baby Beach and it's high tide:

It is a bit disconcerting when some of the waves bounce off the rocks and splash against the side, but, you know, to hell with the rust, I like living on the ocean. It's a pretty spot day and night, with a big sandy beach to play on, a protected pool to swim in, an empty surf break on the outside reef, and usually not crowded. Good spot for reading up on quantum gravity too:

(Carlo Rovelli, who recently put out this really good book on the subject, is possibly the unsung hero of the field.) Anyway, it's quite idyllic... except last night our van stalker came back.

About a month ago, we were parked at a different beach, reading in the back with the back doors open over a small cliff facing the ocean -- "Come on, C, what could happen?" -- when, around midnight, a shadowy figure slowly edged around to the back and looked in over us. Very creepy. This part was unhappily not like living on a boat. Her rather edgy "Hey, whatchya doin?" had a distinctly meth amphetamine tinctured twang to it. I had a hard time being threatened by a young redhead in a bikini, even if she was drugged out, but it was still damn weird -- especially when she very slowly extended her hand to my arm, touched it, and said "it's symbolic." She said a lot of other stuff that was borderline interesting, claiming to be a poet, genius, and a checkers champion and all sorts of random stuff, but it was pretty clear she was nuts and drugged out on something not so mellow. After a little gently and carefully applied apathy she wandered off. C wanted us to move, but I figured she wouldn't come back.

At 3am she came back, and knocked on the doors -- started talking about how she had been thinking about the van, and thought up some games to play. This was not so cool. C was freaking out. When the redhead went around to the back, I hopped into the front, started it up, and took off. Think that kind of freaked her out, as she yelped with surprise. Guess a V10 is kind of loud at 3am. Heh. Anyway, I figured that was that, and we probably wouldn't see her again. But, it's a small island...

Last night she came by Baby Beach, at about 8pm, saw me on my laptop, and offered to sell me some domain names. Uh huh. I didn't even see her, just the rough shape, but the voice was familiar. She wandered off again. But, surprise surprise, came back at 4am and said she'd been bitten by some kind of spider and wanted to look it up on the computer. Right...sure, let me invite you in and pull that out for you. We pretended to be asleep and she went away. In all these encounters, I never did get a good look at her, as I never saw her in daylight. She just struck me as a fairly cute young girl who was drugged out and/or crazy as all hell. Mostly it was the voice. But, anyway, when I woke up at 8am, I figured she'd probably had a long night and was likely passed out somewhere, so I hiked around in the trees above the beach until I found the nest:

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