Honolulu City Lights

Me (left) and my sister on the north shore of O'ahu. 1973.

Sometimes all it takes is a song. That feeling of going home again, knowing you never really can. Smelling your mother’s perfume through the melody of childhood. It’s intoxicating.

There are so many times I am asked about being raised in Hawai’i. The looks on faces that whisper envy never disappoint. I want to tell them it wasn’t the same for me; that paradise was Survivor. Each time my mind struggles to say the words, I stop myself. I sound ungrateful.

Growing up on O’ahu as an addict is not unlike growing up in Detroit as one. There are shadows in every city.

Through writing my manuscript, I am slowly getting to where I can visit such a magical place and not be negatively affected.

Sometimes all is takes is a song.