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Bleu, Bleu, L'Amour Est Bleu

Updated on November 6, 2013

Another H*O*T* Segment

H*O*T* is an acronym for Hawaiian Odysseus Tutorial, my HubPages platform niche for sharing personal experiences and strategies that have helped me in my painstaking development as a writer. Truth be told, I really, to this day, don't know what the hell I'm doing most of the time, but as long as others enjoy the active volcano of my mind, I'll keep spewing forth this literary lava.

Today's tip as well as challenge: Take a sentence from a famous writer's published work and use it as a foundation for an original personal essay, article, narrative, or short story.

I hope you enjoy the example featured here...

Baby Blue

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... ~ A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

Patricia handed me the note as we passed each other in the hall.

My heart danced a spirited hula as I opened the message and read: Meet me behind the gym after school.

Startled, I turned around to call her name, but she was already thirty yards away, walking rapidly to her class. I watched as she adeptly adjusted her baby blue blouse. Her pleated white skirt accentuated the hula of her hips as she sashayed down the corridor.

Snap out of it, fool! She's out of your league.

The thought from my saner side was a slap to my face.

Still, I wondered why she wanted to see me. And why behind the gym?

My body felt warm. Sure, it could have been the early June sun or the elation of knowing that this was the last day of school before summer vacation. Or maybe it was the joy of knowing that in just a few hours, I'd be flying out of Oahu and on my way to Kauai and my family.

Then again, it could have just been hormones.

Reading her note one more time, admiring her lovely handwriting with the accentuated loops and tails and a heart instead of a dot above the i in behind...ah, that beautiful behind!

The last bell clanged me out of my reverie, and I sprinted down the hall to my next class.

Royal Blue

It was the last day of my 8th grade year at the Kamehameha Schools Preparatory Department, and the air was abuzz with anticipation.

Less than two months shy of my fourteenth birthday, I was feeling my oats, tingling with the excitement of knowing that in just a few hours, I would actually be on board an Aloha Airlines interisland flight back home to Kaua'i.

The firstborn son, the big brother of five siblings, the first in the family to attend the prestigious private school for children of at least one-fourth Hawaiian descent...

I'm going home...

Just two short years ago, on the day I first left the home of my youth to be a boarding student on the neighbor island, my chest had been full of bravely suppressed sobs. And though my eyes had brimmed with a definite tinge of red, I never shed a tear.

I am not going to let my father see me cry.

How many times had he spanked me as a child and told me, "Don't cry, or I going give you mo' lickin'!"

What? What kind of messed up message was that?

It was the culture of the islands. It was also the result of parents marrying at a very young age, not much older than I was, and bringing to the marriage and family life severely limited parental skills. Still, Mom and Dad had done the very best they could with what little skills they had.

The privilege and honor of having their firstborn accepted into the island equivalent of an Ivy League school was a huge feather in their proverbial coconut hats. I wanted them to see that I was being a man.

Later, in the solace of my airplane seat, the waterfall would finally flow.

Now here I was, looking ahead to my freshman year.

I thought of how sharp I would look in my ROTC uniform. Maybe I'll even be good enough to be in the topnotch drill team. My fantasy-laden teenage mind was in overdrive: the bleachers filled to capacity at the upper campus field; rifles flying through the air in perfect timing; cadets looking sharp in parade dress uniforms--black helmets with chin straps, royal blue tunics, and the contrast of white pants with black shoes spit shined with Kiwi polish until they flashed like mirrors...

"Joe. Joe? Could you sign my yearbook?"

"Uh, oh, yeah, sure thing, Laurel!" I quickly wrote a note on the back page of my classmate's annual and then asked her to reciprocate the favor.

I then found others in my homeroom class with whom to exchange autographs.

Yearbook signing was a lot of fun. I penned alternative versions of "Stay cool!" to the guys, and I wrote outrageously flirtatious messages to the girls. The latter choice was completely out of character for a boy whose nose was usually stuck in the books, shy and self-absorbed about the latest batch of pimples that had broken out, and bearing a persona of serious rigidity mixed with varying shades of melancholy.

The last day of school syndrome had me shedding giant gorillas off my back. I was liberated from my self-imposed chains. Clark Kent was forever throwing away the cheap pair of fake glasses, and look out, world! Here comes Superman!

So, yeah, I was going to let the girls know how much I'd really noticed and appreciated and been secretly infatuated with them. By the time summer was over and freshman year was about to start, they would have forgotten what I'd written, anyway. More importantly, I would have forgotten.

At 13, that was my lot in life.

Azure Blue

Patricia was already waiting for me when I got to the tight walkway behind the gym.

She stood there--a lovely, self-assured young lady with a smile that could melt steel at a hundred yards.

I suddenly felt extremely nervous and couldn't meet her eyes. The back wall of the gym suddenly became a thing of interest. A small nameplate, about eye level to my 5'9" height, read: Kiawe.

The kiawe is a very tough, dense wood of the mesquite family, widely used for charcoal and well known for the sweet and savory flavor it imparts to grilled or smoked meat.

The sun was at its zenith, and cumulo-nimbus clouds did a slow dance across a bejeweled azure blue sky.

Random thoughts for a deer caught in the headlights.

"Joe, I wanted to give you this lei." Patricia compelled my attention.

"Oh, wow, thank you!" What a lame response! Where's my gift for words?

She gracefully encircled my head with the beautiful white carnation lei. I expected a kiss on the cheek. Instead she drew me close and pressed her lips to mine.

Now, mind you, I had never in my life until that precise mind-boggling, earth-shattering moment been kissed by a girl. Moms, sisters, and grandmas don't count. I'm talking about a real live girl, the same age as me, giving me a kiss on the mouth. That in itself was a first!

My head was swimming. My heart was doing a high dive off a cliff in Belize. My simmering blood was causing glacier slides in Alaska.

Her lips...I swear I don't know to this day how she did this...her lips were undulating like Scheherazade's rippling belly on mine, causing an electrifying tingle that short circuited my brain and sent Amber alerts to remote parts of my body:

Attention, all units! A 13-year-old Hawaiian-Filipino-Okinawan boy has been kidnapped in the Kalihi area of Honolulu by a Hawaiian-Chinese girl of similar age. Proceed with caution. Un-Sub is mysteriously armed and alluringly dangerous!

That first kiss may have taken all of 30 seconds--which is pretty dang long for a first kiss!--but it seemed to last forever.

It was I who pulled away.

"Patricia, what?...I thought you and Glenn were a couple...I don't under..."

She put her fingers to my mouth.

"Shh...he and I broke up. I think you're cute, and I've wanted to kiss you for the longest time..."

Like a centerfielder distracted by a commotion in the bleachers, I never saw the hit coming. I felt disoriented, not at all comfortable without my illusion of control. I tried to slow down and think things through, but that's when she clutched the front of my shirt and drew me in to her.

Cocking her head to one side, eyes closed, her quivering lips found mind. This time, they brought along a close cousin.

Black and Blue

In 1966, the wettest spot in the world was Mt. Waialeale with an average of about 460 cubic inches per year.

When Patricia casually slipped her tongue past the aperture of my lips, I was certain we'd broken Waialeale's Guiness Book record.

For the next five minutes, we didn't come up for air.

I who had never kissed nor been kissed experienced an accelerated learning curve in the art of oral merging. Clumsy at first, unsure, and definitely a follower, I graciously overcame her lead and became an actor in the full throttle of improvisation.

Yin melded into yang.

Ebb danced with flow.

Softness wedded hardness.

A simple island bumpkin, I had never in my life experienced such intimacy with another human being.

Kiawe. Dense. Hard. Painful?

Ow! Man alive, I really hurt bad in my southern region.

As excited as I was with our passionate kisses, I was suddenly experiencing excruciating pain. Like the kissing, this, too, was a novel sensation for me.

Mere words fall short of describing this pain.

It was as if I'd been a catcher who'd forgotten his cup at home and--too macho to sit the game out--now regretted having misplayed a slider in the dirt from pitcher Felix Hernandez.

Like riding the bull in Urban Cowboy while under the influence and waking up the next morning, seriously hung over in black and blue and definitely feeling the pain.

Like playing mixed martial arts with my little brother and getting the full force of sibling rivalry in his kick to my groin.

Ouch! It hurt so bad!

Powder Blue

When the human body experiences pain, it seeks comfort.

At this moment in time, nothing felt more comforting than to indulge in more kissing.

Patricia and I heard voices approaching. So we skedaddled out of there.

Let me rephrase that.

Slowly, casually, and painstakingly, we walked towards the two-storied row of classrooms.

My mind created a montage of images as we walked.

Big, fat Italian women stomping on grapes.

The Lone Ranger in his powder blue outfit jumping from a building onto his horse, Silver.

Curly stepping onto a plank with Moe straddling the receiving end.

Ouch! It sure hurt to walk. I must've looked like a bow-legged Charlie Chaplin.

And those steps? Oh, my word! Incredible performance pressure, to say the least!

Patricia and I found an unlocked and empty classroom. Ironically, it was Mr. Gilbert's Biology Class. Go figure! The stars were aligned, alright.

To avoid detection, we lay down on the floor behind Mr. Gilbert's huge desk.

And we proceeded to work out our bilingual choreography.

At 13, even if I was going on 14, I was still very naive about things involving the opposite sex. I honestly had no thoughts, let alone ideas, of going any further. Baseball was still a pure sport to me, so notions of going past first base were foreign to my way of thinking.

All I wanted to do--pain or no pain--was dance the next hour away with our lips and tongues and the endless give and take of Juicy Fruit kisses.

And the thing is, we never got tired or bored.

Naively, I even hoped that perhaps the pain would go away with more kissing. Ah, no such luck!

Still, I was having the time of my life.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Yonder Blue

I don't remember how it came about, but at some point, we had to end our season of indulgence. Maybe I looked at my watch and remembered that I had to pack some last minute things and find a ride to the airport.

We looked at each other with big moon eyes, and--as I recall--we promised we'd write to each other all summer long.

I kissed her one more time, gave her a big hug, and then we said goodbye.

My thoughts and emotions were all over the map, and I wandered around in a fugue for the next few hours.

It wasn't until I was in the airplane with a window seat next to the wing that housed two of the four propellors that my mind returned to being in sync with my body. Regarding the latter, I was still in pain, but, thankfully, the pain was subsiding.

I looked out at yonder blue horizon where the sky kissed the sea.

And that's when it occurred to me.

I was growing up.

Aloha and Mahalo for joining me on my rite of passage. Next Up: A H*O*R*S*E* report on the "smalls."
Aloha and Mahalo for joining me on my rite of passage. Next Up: A H*O*R*S*E* report on the "smalls."


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  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 

    4 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Hi, Joe - I saw your smiling photo and name on my feed and just popped in to say I really miss seeing new hubs written by you. I'm sorry you are not writing on HP any more. Are you writing for another site? Your own blog, website or working on a book? You are such a good writer that you shouldn't be wasting your talent.

    Hey! Let your HP friends know where to find you....Happy Sunday....Jaye

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Aloha, KawikaChann!

    I still smile--and wince!--over the memory of that bittersweet scenario. It's great that this account triggered similar memories for you, brah. The dozens of "talks" I've had with that young man have honed my skills as a parent...and, yet, I am so thankful that God devised a master plan whereby the most meaningful and unforgettable experiences are the ones that can't be taught. I don't write here on HP anymore, but I enjoy popping in now and then to say hello to friends like you. My best to you and yours, Kawika!

  • KawikaChann profile image

    Kawika Chann 

    4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

    Aloha Joe!

    I like this one, what a flashback - I remember those days... Emotions were running wild - I dug on a girl that was two years older than me, but ended up with her younger sister that was my age... lol, dang... I remember that pain back then... lol. Very fine brush that you paint with my friend.



  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you so very much, Jo! An insecurity that nagged at me was whether or not it would be accepted by others in the spirit with which I wrote it. Your feedback, more than any other's, underscores that my insecurity was for naught. I am very grateful for you. You give so much of yourself, even when you are hurting and vulnerable, and I have the greatest admiration, appreciation, and respect for you. I'm hugging you in a long distance way, wishing I could do so in person. God bless you, Jo! Aloha!

  • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


    5 years ago

    I so enjoyed reading your very first moment of love. You have written this in such a beautiful and gentleman way. I really admire you for the way you express such a surreal moment in your life, as you uphold the respect of your first love.

    You are truly a gifted writer. This deserves the votes up +++ and worth sharing. You are a gift for the new generation of aspiring writers. Your example in telling a moment in a beautiful and respectable way, is wonderful! Shalom & Aloha!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Our lives are composites of a wondrous mosaic God crafts with such care and creativity. This was an episode that, while some might view as a tad bit racy, still had good purpose for being told. It's all part and parcel of His design. I had a bittersweet time actually experiencing that golden moment, and I certainly enjoyed nostalgically sharing the story from the point of view of an older and, arguably, wiser man. : ) Aloha, my dear friend, and thanks for stopping by!


  • Eiddwen profile image


    5 years ago from Wales

    A wonderful hub Joe and thank you for sharing. Voted up and enjoy your weekend.


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thanks for taking time to visit, read my hub, and share your gracious comments, Cygnet! It certainly is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Aloha, and have a memorable weekend!


  • cygnetbrown profile image

    Cygnet Brown 

    5 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

    What a beautiful story, what a beautiful place. My son is going to Hawaii to live in the middle of next month. I hope to get to visit some time soon.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Devika! I really appreciate your stopping by and sharing in this hub experience. I seem to have such a good memory for the long ago events but wilt when it comes to remembering what my wife may have just told me 5 minutes ago. LOL! Of course, that might be a universal husbandly thing. Aloha and best wishes for a great week, my friend!


  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Great hub from you and so glad I stopped to read, you have accomplished many good hubs and look forward to reading more of your work

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Jim!

    To my chagrin, my parents told me they could not afford the private school tuition at Kamehameha Schools, and I attended and eventually graduated from my home town school on Kaua'i. I never saw or heard from Patricia again. Fortunately, I had dates and other girlfriends with whom I enjoyed less painful experiences. : ) Thank you for sharing--as much as possible, Jim--in this hub experience. LOL! Aloha, my friend, and have a great rest of the week!


  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 

    5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Had me laughing out loud and grimacing in envy Joe! This is a fantastic memory to share with us, and you have written it all so well that we could almost live it vicariously with you.

    So what happened the next year?

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thanks for the encouragement, Mary...and for being a Tillson Johnny Appleseed planting visions in my head of potential paths I may someday encounter in my walk.

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 

    5 years ago from New York

    I hope that book materializes my friend. I know it'll be great as you are such a good writer, actually a cut above the rest.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    I think so, Bill. In a few minutes, I am sending you a personal message via your HP fan page with the particulars.I'm very thankful to have every precious moment with my family...and while I haven't been diligently present at the HP scene, I continue to write and store hubs in my brain. Thank you for your concern, my friend. I really appreciate you. Glad you liked this one, Bill. Guess you could say I went out on a limb. There are still some readers who are curious about my multiple references to the color blue. Ha-ha! Aloha, Bill!


  • bdegiulio profile image

    Bill De Giulio 

    5 years ago from Massachusetts

    Joe, this is a work of art. I read this when you first published it but got distracted before I could comment. Now that I've read it twice it is even more impressive the second time around. You should be writing novels Joe, seriously.

    BYW I read a comment of your on Billybuc's latest hub. Are you okay?

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state


    Dianna, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. In backtracking and making sure that I had responded to everyone's comments, I came across yours and could not find what I thought I had responded with days ago.

    So I'm assuming my response did not register.

    Thank you so very much for your kind comments. Writing this was a huge risk for me. First of all, in more ways than one, it takes me out of a comfort zone. Secondly, the greater risk, I fear, would have been to NEVER, as a writer, get out of my comfort zone. In retrospect, I'm glad I took a chance with this hub.

    I respect and appreciate you (as I do billybuc and others) because of your experience as an educator. You've seen kids from a perspective even their parents may never have truly seen or acknowledged. You know, therefore, what it might have been like for two kids, thirteen years of age, experiencing that passionate interlude.

    Fortunately, the incident was an end in and of itself. It made the experience even more golden for an old man looking back.

    Thank you for stopping by and sharing your comments, Dianna. Aloha and have a great weekend!


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    At my age, Lisa, I'm blessed to have a good recall of things that happened when I was a young boy. I know this comes across like the world's oldest and most often used cliche, but it truly did seem like yesterday. The older I get, the more amazed I am at the increasing speed at which time moves.

    It thus behooves me as a human being first--and then as a writer in progress--to use the intellect and talent God has blessed me with to share my account of these universal rites of passage. It's a form of preserving, if you will, things that most people can readily identify with--like that first kiss...and--LOL!--for some unfortunate guys like me, the anguish of experiencing that blue syndrome that leaves us convinced that God must surely be punishing us.

    Lisa, did you ever see the movie, "Summer of '42?" It was one man's fond and bittersweet reminiscence of a key occurrence in his life. That's the genre I'd really enjoy fleshing out someday in a first or second novel.

    Our good friend and fellow hubber, billybuc, has been such a great influence in my writing path.

    You, dear Lisa, have been a HUGE inspiration!

    Aloha, and have a magical evening!


  • LKMore01 profile image


    5 years ago


    Another Hubber above mentioned that you were a "gift". You are indeed, my friend a treasure beyond treasures. This is brilliant: "Her lips...I swear I don't know to this day how she did this...her lips were undulating like Scheherazade's rippling belly on mine, causing an electrifying tingle that short circuited my brain and sent Amber alerts to remote parts of my body"

    Thank you for another amazing story.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Kari!

    Hey, glad you enjoyed this one! It's truly a universal experience--not the glamorized Hollywood version of a rite of passage such as a first kiss, but all the mixed-up feelings, awkward behaviors, and rushing hormones. I have the creative license of a much older man looking back fondly at that young teenage boy...nevertheless, it's all sweet bliss to me. Thanks so much for stopping by, reading (and really getting into the moment of it all!), and sharing your heartfelt comments. See you at the next hub, Kari! Aloha!


  • profile image


    5 years ago

    You are really funny and very good in words. Patricia must be admiring you a long time. I really enjoyed reading it. :-)

  • Relationshipc profile image


    5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

    Holy! Now I've had two first very clearly painted in my mind and one in my memory. :) I simply love you and your writing.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Pearl!

    I give God the credit most of all, and I can see He truly has a wonderful sense of humor. Something else I'm noticing is that the walking program I seriously invested time and energy into since the first of the year has had a serious impact on my writing. It's as if my brains were decongested and some portal opened up inside. Thank you for the great feedback, Pearl. I truly am being moved into the direction of a novel. We'll see how it goes...Aloha, and thanks again for your kind words!


  • grandmapearl profile image

    Connie Smith 

    5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

    Okay, Joe, when is your novel coming out? I want to be the first to read it! Your style is beyond awesome, and I am amazed at how easily and effectively you push every one of my emotional buttons.

    I love the stages of blue, and how you use them so artfully; you carefully and skillfully transport the reader through time warps. Please give us more of the same!

    You have a true gift for this writing gig, my friend ;) Pearl

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Ha-ha! Liz, I can always count on you for these very clever, funny, and off the wall yet brutally honest observations! Love it!

    Yeah, why did she wait two years? I had no clue!

    I pondered on your last statement for a bit...and then I got it...and I started chuckling to myself. Wonder if Rita heard me over in the next room.

    There were two main categories of students--the ones from the neighbor island or from the far side of Oahu who lived in the dorm (boarders) and the ones who commuted to school from their homes (day students). Patricia was a day student, and I was a boarder. That dynamic alone created a veil of mystique. As a boarder, I had to pass inspection with my room and my uniform (short-sleeved white shirt, khaki pants, and spit-shined shoes) to be approved for a day pass on the weekends. Life, then, was stricter for boarders than for day students, and that also caused a form of tension. Anyway, I'm rambling.

    So far this weekend, I sold one item. Yikes! Rita had two sales last night, and that's huge for her. I told her about how you have a store now and that sales are beginning to POP for you. She is seriously considering subscribing to the basic level. The thing is, she has close to a couple hundred items, so isn't it true that the freebies eBay allots the basic level store subscribers will be "sucked up" by the relisting? Even so, she can do so much more--like you did with sales, etc. Thanks for being an inspiration, Liz!

    Oh, thanks for mentioning the comment settings. I had no idea I could remedy that problem. It was truly a simple fix. So now the comments will show before I approve them. Cool! Thanks, Liz!

    Aloha, my friend, and remember: I never get tired of hearing about your eBay exploits! : )


  • Radcliff profile image

    Liz Davis 

    5 years ago from Hudson, FL


    First of all, I read this yesterday, but a munchkin emergency (that involved needing a banana or something equally important) sidetracked me and I never got back to comment.

    Second, you need to change your comment settings because it's freaking everyone out.

    Third, you dirty dog! Hahah! I'm kidding. And why did that little hooch wait two whole years--until the day you were leaving--to get you all worked up?

    Finally: This is why we're homeschooling. :D

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thanks, Writer Fox!

    I love that you came over to visit from the wadi near the little river. It was my hope that this might elicit fond memories of a universal rite of passage. Aloha, and have a great Sunday and an adventuresome new week!


  • Writer Fox profile image

    Writer Fox 

    5 years ago from the wadi near the little river

    Very poignant story from your youth. Thanks for sharing it with us here.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Marie!

    Thank you for sharing your truthfornow regarding this hub. I really appreciate you for stopping by and gracing my latest piece with your kind comments. Yes, it totally got my summer off to a great start. Ironically, somewhat sadly, I never did see Patricia again. I certainly have nothing but good thoughts and high wishes for her and her loved ones. Aloha, my friend, and have a great Sunday and a memorable new week!


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hooray, CrisSp! Congratulations on a very successful garage sale!

    The Filipino side is very romantic; the Hawaiian is passonate; and the Okinawan is grounded in "Go For It!" : )

    So glad you enjoyed this hub, my friend. My chronological age is one thing; the ageless Peter Pan in me is flying high! Look out the window one day the next time you're cruising in the stratosphere, and you might just catch a glimpse of me.

    Thanks so much for making my day, Cris! Lots of aloha and imaginations!


  • truthfornow profile image


    5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

    Really sweet story. It was like I was there with you both. Wonderful way to start off summer vacation!

  • CrisSp profile image


    5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    You are a gift Joe! I thought my days of reading Danielle Steele's and the likes are gone.

    I like your artistic and very creative strokes of telling your story noting all important senses of writing (effective in reading). I can taste some romantic flavor here and I am left with oodles (and noodles) of imaginations.

    Your writing attitude here carries a deepened appreciation of the beauties of nature and human nature. Read: Teen curiosity. *smile*

    Thank you for sharing your tender, painful, funny, witty and very entertaining story. Immensely enjoyed and passing along all the juicy fruit goodness of this hub!

    Love from the sky~

    P.S. Garage Sale was a success and left-overs' gone to Goodwill. :)

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Deonne!

    I am so glad that this piece evoked heartwarming flashbacks of your first kiss. Knowing that the written word is capable of triggering a reader's thoughts and feelings, thus enabling and facilitating a moment of identification, is the most joyous form of feedback a writer could ever receive. Thank you so very much for your visit and gracious comments, Deonne!

    Blessings and aloha to you from SE Washington!


  • ladydeonne profile image

    Deonne Anderson 

    5 years ago from Florence, SC

    Reading the story of you first kiss made me smile and brought back fond memories of my first kiss. Such a sweet and innocent time. Your telling of the story of your first kiss was superb. I love your use of sub titles and and one line paragraphs. Both are very effective. Voted up and beautiful.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Mark!

    Thank you for reading my hub and sharing such favorable comments that are specific in nature. I find that very useful in determining what works. Aloha, and I'm glad to make your acquaintance.


  • Curiad profile image

    Mark G Weller 

    5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

    Excellent writing. The style of writing is superb, with the breaks in the story to detail events etc.


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Donna!

    I am humbly surprised and audaciously ecstatic about how well this hub's been received. Thank you so very much for weighing in, Donna. While I value each and every commentator's perspective, your expertise as a former high school teacher brings to the table years of education and experience.

    I appreciate your feedback very much, and I'm grateful that you dropped by to share your thoughts with me.

    Have a wonderful evening, and I'll see you at the next hub!



  • donnah75 profile image

    Donna Hilbrandt 

    5 years ago from Upstate New York

    Joe, this is great writing. Really great writing. I love that you humbly preface it with your writing tip to start out with a famous line from literature. What that line inspired in you goes way beyond an exemplar for a writing exercise. I do hope others read this and are inspired to write just as beautifully. Awesome stuff!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    In the coming months, I'm being a wise man (finally) and learning all I can from you, billybuc, and all the other talented writers who have actually published books (you're multi-phenomenal in that category). I'm so blessed to be here in the HubPages community where I can learn from the best and keep improving in my writing.

    And thank you, Patricia, wherever you are!

    : ) Aloha, Liz!


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Barbara Kay, you honor me with your gracious comments and sharing. You help me to feel like the guy who warms the bench but is called in the bottom of the ninth to pinch-hit for the pitcher. It's two outs, and the bases are loaded. Oh, and our team's down 3 runs. Adrenaline is coursing through my body big time...


    I just hit a homerun!

    Thank you for an uplifting moment!


  • epbooks profile image

    Elizabeth Parker 

    5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    Joe- what a wonderful (and romantic) story. You are such a creative and talented writer and have a gift of drawing the reader in immediately (and keeping them there)! I hope that you do write a book one day. I have a feeling it would do very well! Great hub, Joe and voted up and shared!


  • Barbara Kay profile image

    Barbara Badder 

    5 years ago from USA

    You are such a good writer. I really enjoyed this story. I'm sharing.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Aloha, sister Pulelehua!

    Hi, Lisa! How's life treating you? I hope everything is going well for you and your loved ones. Yeah, I went kolohi on this one and brought back an oldie but goodie memory. Boy, was it a good one! Ha-ha! Thank you for the biggest compliment of all--the fact that you thought right away of Keith and your early times with him. That empowers me as a writer--the knowledge that others can relate to the things I share. You know that feeling well because you affect others that way, too, with your writing.

    Boy, have you seen your mom's latest hub? Dynamite! Absolutely powerful! I love empowered women, Lisa. I only got one mini-gripe about your mom. She takes forever to respond to her comments. LOL! (Eh, no tell her because I going be in the chicken coop with her! Ha-ha!)

    Aloha, my dear Kauai girl who keeps rocking the night away with her talent!


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Two years ago, I swore up and down that I would never be caught going to a yard sale or thrift store with my wife. Well, strike that stubborn stance down. Another thing I vowed never to do was write about romance. Well, blow me down again, as Popeye would say. The thing about growing older is that I'm still getting surprised...and mostly by myself! Ha-ha! Thanks for reading, Sally, and for your faithful support and encouragement. Aloha, and continue having a great weekend!


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Faith Reaper!

    The delicate nature of this first kiss and the intimacy involved, along with my Christian perspective, required that I write about a universal experience--an integral rite of passage for young people--in a manner that was respectful, exemplary of good taste, and yet genuine. As a writer, I was beset with insecurities. Is this the right thing to do? Will people get what I'm trying to express? Can I pull this off, or will HP ban me for life? And then, of course, I was most concerned with Bill's take on this hub. I can tell you, my friend, it's 3:13 PM the day after releasing this hub, and I am breathing a great sigh of relief. Thanks so much for your consistent witness of faith and for your wonderful words of support and encouragement. My very best to you, Faith!


  • Rusticliving profile image

    Elizabeth Rayen 

    5 years ago from California

    *WOW*.. ok.. Hold on while I take a sip of Guava juice to cool me off!

    All I can add to this is that I can relate..however, I will add that when I was introduced to Keith, it took me 2 weeks to remember his first name. I tried my best to get our co-workers to say his name without being so obvious! Finally after we closed the club one evening.. Someone shouted out to Keith, "Hey Keith.. you and Lisa wanna come over for some grinds?" YES!.. I will now remember his first name...but it took me 6 months to remember FURUGEN... let alone spell it! *He married me anyway* Hugs from the Kauai girl in California! Voted up and across plus shared!

    ALoha----Lisa "Pulelehua"

  • sallybea profile image

    Sally Gulbrandsen 

    5 years ago from Norfolk

    Sending you a glowing, comment Joe - great read, I was enthralled right from the first line. Forget e-bay, you will be writing romantic novels next. Hope you are having a wonderful week-end.


  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 

    5 years ago from southern USA

    Oh, yes, such a beautiful write here of that young love, so passionate, new, fresh and all that you have described! Wonderful and talented writer. I have seen your comments around, but just now getting here and what a lovely write to start off reading!

    Thank you for sharing this most intimate time in your life so beautifully expressed here.

    Voted up ++++ and sharing

    Blessings, Faith Reaper

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Shauna, I think you may see them now, my friend. The fault is mine. I think that comments are not visible to the commentator until I, the recipient, are able to get to and approve them. I was on an 8-mile walk and just got back an hour ago. Finally got to my comments. Thanks for being patient.


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Maria! So glad you stopped by. Just wanted to check in with you about something. Was Kevin the lead character in The Wonder Years? I vaguely remember. But, yes, I absolutely LOVED that series! The angst he experienced over that pretty girl...every guy could relate to that! Thank you so much for your terrific feedback--it means the world to me, Maria! As painful as it was at the time, it remains to this day one of my favorite memories. It made me realize, Maria, just how blessed we are to be human. Aloha, my dear friend, and know that you made my day today!


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Ha-ha! You are so cool, Sha! Just to clarify...regarding the latter, it wasn't my first. Boys that age had 'em all the time, it seems. LOL! But it definitely was the first one that had good reason to show up...and, yes, it is true, I just wanted to keep kissing. I did not have a clue. In retrospect, I'm glad that kissing was the ultimate end! : ) Thanks for sharing, my friend! Aloha!


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Michael, that means a lot to me. Man alive, I thought I was gonna die...but then again, what a way to go! LOL! Thanks for sharing with me the poet's truth! Aloha, and do have a memorable weekend!


  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    5 years ago from Central Florida

    I think HP is screwing up again. I've left two comments, neither of which are showing. :-(

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thanks, Jaye! Your comments elevate my spirits. We writers often come to forks in the road. I did with this one, and I was besieged with insecurities. Do I dare write about this? Do I want to take that risk? What if people don't like it? What if HP bans me?

    Sometimes we just gotta plow through that obstacle in the road and stubbornly wield the voice of truth within us.

    I am very thankful, truth be told, for HP and especially for the community of fellow writers who encourage me along the way. My earnest hope is that you and others also receive that gift of uplifting friendship and encouragement from me.

    Thank you for gracing my hub today with your presence, Jaye! Aloha, and have a super weekend!


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Joelle!

    Thank you, my northern friend! That was a blast from 47 years ago, and I still think of Patricia and her gifts to me on that sensational rite of passage day. I have never seen her again because my parents couldn't afford to send me back to Kamehameha--which really broke my heart--but a kid has got to be loyal to his family, and so I made the best of my high school years on Kaua'i. No regrets...just more lessons, often very painful ones in a different way. LOL! Thanks for stopping by! Aloha, and you have a great weekend as well!


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Wow! Coming from you, Bill, this just blew my mind! Thank you so very much, buddy! Gotta be honest, my friend--I was super nervous about this one...because it was about digging deep and sharing an intimate moment. But the more I thought about it, I realized that my mettle as a writer can only be fully realized when I dare to write what I'm insecure about writing...not that this is something I do with each hub, because--as you know--there are different levels with which we address our various niche hubs.

    The question I faced was: Am I brave enough to risk the rejection of a guru writer? The answer I had was: Buddy, that's the only way you'll ever know if you're true to yourself, and if you can't be true to yourself when you write, you might as well tie 'em up and let 'em fall off. : )

    So, I return full circle to: Thank you, Bill, for intuitively knowing what I went through in writing this.

    I love sharing these "behind the scenes" stories with you, my friend. Aloha!

    Oh, by the way, we received warnings on the radio yesterday that a storm was really hitting Pendleton hard and was on its way to the Walla Walla Valley...but it must've got distracted because we didn't get a peep out here. I wouldn't mind a little cooler weather. : )


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    My bad, will show in just a few minutes. Just got back from an 8-mile walk and so am now just getting to my feed. Aloha, brother, and thanks for making it possible for me to meet Shauna!


  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Joe Joe Joe Joe Joe Joe Joe.......well, you get the idea.

    I am dreaming of Kevin. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times...

    Oh I completely agree with Mary. This was charming, steamy, kinda reminded me of The Wonder may very well be my favorite from you to date. You are so comfortable with that pen and you make your readers feel the very same...

    Voted UP and all across. Hugs, Maria

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    5 years ago from Central Florida

    Wow! What a story! Your recount of the fist kiss (and first hardon!) was so explicit it took me back to my first kiss. You are masterful at painting a picture with words. I don't know what has taken me so long to check you out!

  • cleaner3 profile image


    5 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

    great write my friend .. took me back to that first kiss I had .. you explained all those feeling so well .. .. thank you for letting me relive the thrill ..


  • wetnosedogs profile image


    5 years ago from Alabama

    Well, you fooled me. You didn't have a thing to be "blue" about! As you may remember how I commented on your last hub.

    Up, up and away, Hawaii - you are a most gracious and talented writer. With ebay and your writing - of anything! - you can only go farther up.

    My favorite read here is how your dad told you not to cry and there'd be more.That was a great laugh. I know, I have to be the different one compared to what all others are commenting.And surely, that is a messed up message. Thanks for the laugh.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    5 years ago

    You have talent and you write with great style. You have captured a youthful experience and made it such an interesting read.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I'm not seeing my glowing comment here...will check back in awhile and see if HP has posted it yet. :)

  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 

    5 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Joe - You are truly a talented writer, and I--among many--enjoy the "literary lava" your volcanic mind produces. You have a marvelous way with words, phrases, metaphor and simile, concepts, story structure--all of which you use to tell a story that grabs readers at the beginning and holds on to them until the final word. The fact that you tell stories from your own life makes them even more mesmerizing.

    You describe so well that time of adolescence that's fraught with teen angst, awkwardness and what seems (at the time) like minefields. (I wonder how many people who read this will recall their own first kiss?) How lovely that you discovered the joys of "oral merging" on the last day of term. Quite a beginning to your summer!

    The photos are gorgeous! You truly grew up in Paradise.

    This story has some of everything, so I voted it Up+++++ across the board...and shared!


  • kidscrafts profile image


    5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

    What a lovely and romantic story of your past, Joe! Thank you for sharing!

    Have a fantastic weekend!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Joe, my only question is why are there only four comments on this work of art? I mean seriously, where are the throngs of readers? Does no one care about quality writing anymore? I'm going to share this Picasso across Facebook, and if that doesn't bring them in I'll demand that my followers do me a favor and read this so they can see what real writing is like. are a talented writer. Your ability to reach inside of a story and draw out all the emotions and memories from the, my friend, have a gift, and I don't want you to ever forget it.

    Okay, I need to start sharing this so I'll leave you for now. Have a great Saturday my talented friend.



  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Good morning, Mary!

    Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback and for sharing this hub. Yes, I actually saw your "share" on Pinterest before arriving at your comments. We live in such an awesome time when we have the luxury of contemplating things that have happened in the past and picture-framing them with today's amazing technology.

    You know, and I mean what I'm about to say with all sincerity, my life is either too boring or too painful to ever put into writing, but I am seriously considering the goal of writing either a novel or a nonfiction book in 2014, I'm doing moderately well in meeting my goals for 2013, so the next year's goals may very well include a first book. We'll see.

    Regarding Patricia, my earnest prayer is that she is a very happy wife, mom, and grandma at this point in time. She gave me a gift that transcended the carnation lei and the marathon kiss. She gave me a renewed perspective of who I was as an crucial during the confusing years of adolescence. You know all too well the unique pressures we faced and the times we lived in...the imminent threat of nuclear attack, just to mention one significant thing...In an indescribable way, she also paved the way for my richer understanding and open-mindedness so that--in the present--if my daughter ever came to me and needed to talk about anything...absolutely anything...she would find me to be, as she would put it, quite the "chill" dad. I know you can make sense of what I just said. Sometimes, the right words elude me, but I know you perceive the spirit of intention. Aloha, my friend, and know that I am so very grateful for you!


  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 

    5 years ago from New York

    Oh Joe, this was beyond good. You old babyboomer you. You brought back memories of so very many things. Your descriptions are intriguing and truly bring your read right there with you, feeling the pain, enjoying the kiss.

    I think its time for an autobiography my friend. I would love to read page after page of your writing especially if its your life story told the way this one little segment was told!!

    Your talent is so obvious...I have to agree with Karen, you need to go beyond HubPages. Just remember, I get a signed copy of your first autobiography. Then I can say I knew this very cool acid bro before he was famous!

    Seriously, you have an amazingly talent my brother. Each hub you write shines brighter than the last. I am honored to be your follower.

    Voted all the way across and wondering what happened to Patricia ;) Oh, shared and pinned too.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you so much, Karen. You know that I really look up to you, and to receive this kind of feedback encourages me so much. Rites of passages as intimate as this was has to be handled very delicately. This was a very real experience shared with a very real human being. To this day, whenever I set foot on the island of Oahu, a part of me wonders if I'll ever have an opportunity to bump into Patricia again. Maybe I better choose a better word than bump, but I think you know what I mean. LOL! I would like to thank her for the very important gift that she gave me--the wisdom of knowing that kissing need not be merely a means to an end but can definitely be elevated to the stature of being an end in itself. Oh, and one more thing--contrary to popular belief, the French do NOT have a corner on the market! : ) Aloha, and have a wonderful weekend!


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Jackie!

    Thank you, my friend. I debated long and hard whether I should venture forth and write about this event in my life. But then I thought, the very fact that I'm wrestling with this suggests that I've come to a fork in the road in my writing, and I need to see this through. Aloha, and have a great weekend!


  • Karen Hellier profile image

    Karen Hellier 

    5 years ago from Georgia

    Oh my gosh, this was excellent. You had my attention from the minute she handed you the note. I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. And the way you so thoroughly explained each part of the story was amazing. Joe, you are an excellent writer. I hope you take your writing farther than HubPages someday. The rest of the world needs to be able to have the pleasure of reading the gift of your writing. I am voting this WAYYYY up and sharing! Congratulations on a wonderful story.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Very beautiful; thank you for sharing that most intimate time. ^


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