Last Pau Hana (for now)

Pau Hana: meaning the work is done; a ritual after the days labors are complete;

If you don’t live in Hawai’i you’ve probably had a pau hana and just didn’t know it. It’s that moment after a long days work where you father with friends for a frosty beverage, or kick your feet up to watch the sunset.

It was just last week I had a couple invites to pau hana potentially this week: a friends birthday, another friend wanted to finally try those monkey pod maitais I’m always showing off. Sometimes the suggestion for pau hana pans out, sometimes it’s just a fantasy. As off last week, it was atleast still a possibility. As of tomorrow, it’s not possible to join your girlfriends at a bar. All restaurants and bars are ordered to close. Take out only. I do hold a great worry for restaurant workers and small business owners who are sure to be greatly impacted. This is just one of many symptoms to this very crucial moment in history.

This morning when I woke up I thought for sure I would be sent home to bunker down with my kids. Our governor said it himself: all non-essential employees should be permitted to stay the fuck home. I was so sure of it I didn’t brush my hair, put on make up, pack a lunch to bring along work out clothes. I even parked in the visitor parking stall, thinking it would be just an hour or so before I got my bon voyage.

Alas the hours passed and nothing. Perhaps I am essential after all. I am no more special than those devoted medical professions working tirelessly as well as those target employees feeding our constant need of toilet paper and eggs. And so due to still working, I still indeed qualify for a pau hana.

So, today I had my last pau hana for what is sure to be a very long time. I had an appointment. And thanks to COVID-19 there was lots of street parking and I just so happened to park outside of one of the last restaurants to remain open before the big food service black out of 2020.

I sat at BĀP Paia, a sushi and cuisine restaurant that only recently opened and has been enjoying a bustling start. It’s delicious. A favorite pau hana spot for me and my friend, Jennylee. Today it was empty. While sipping over this semi-maitai-very-delicious-concoction, I was able to talk to the bartender who shared that they would be closing for food service the following day but where thinking of creative ways to continue to operate in some shape or form. Sort of like we all are.

I am prepared to do whatever I have to do, my tiny part to keep the world turning in this big crazy while keeping those around me safe and sound within the walls of my home. If I have to work, I have to work. And I hope I don’t eat those words. I have it pretty fucking good and i don’t want to ever take that for granted.

If the day comes to sacrifice those 40 hours a week, I’ll have to make that call. But for now if they tell me to show up, I will.

So for my last pau hana I toast to life as we knew it, to the heroes of today and to the future, for we can and will overcome and prosper.

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