The Grand Wailea Resort is formidable, impressive, with high roofs, scenic vistas, and island-themed designs laid out on smooth terrazzo floors. An environment all gild and flash. Paintings are simply not enough, so massive bronze sculptures, prints, mosaics, and rows of chaise lounge chairs vie for your attention. They place the reclining chairs around an azure pool, in the shade of dazzling white umbrellas. Well-fed tourists sit there, lay there, buttering each other up with sunblock and insincere compliments. Like all resorts, it is a lavish formal exercise in grand consumption dressed up in casual clothes. Bellboys wear white linen shorts and flowered shirts, but they are still bellboys, licking boots for their perks. I feel like a ghost…just passing through.

The golf cart didn’t make much noise, and when the wind was just right, you could hear every word.

“Honey, you look great in that new bikini. You’ve really know how to count calories. I know it isn’t easy.”

“Waiter, could you get my husband a bib? I believe he’s starting to drool,” said the fashionably sleek woman. She knew her business, and her husband’s, the successful plastic surgeon from Newport Beach who didn’t look a day over thirty. He’d lifted her body so many times it wasn’t funny.

Her eyes were hidden behind Jackie O sunglasses, but she was looking down, watching her French-tipped nails idly tinkling ice cubes against the side of her Mai Tai, sporting a pink bamboo umbrella in a frosted glass. She was one of those women who laughed at danger. She relished taking chances. Bring on the knives. She qualifies for the physician’s wife’s discount, and asks for it with a smile.

©StevenHunley2015 Notorious Duran Duran