Get your ass to Mars (or Hawaii)

I think it was Friday night that I found out that my dad--stepfather--had been arrested for doing some pretty stupid things. He didn't do anything violent, just very, very stupid. During his arrest, he was hurt badly. His health was already questionable to begin with, and he has severe degeneration in the vertebrae in his lumbar.

Now, for the sake of full disclosure, I must mention that my dad has... difficult views on things. It has been long suspected that he suffers from a serious mental illness. He is religiously ubiquitous; that is he's sort of taken a few different religions and sprinkled a bit of this and a bit of that to make his own Hindu-Tao-Christian blend. He is a pacifist. He is a socialist-anarchist--because, again, nothing can be good out-of-the-box. He has adopted some strange new name I haven't bothered to commit to memory that has no discernable theological or cultural origin--think "High Lordpriest San Avocado" or some such.

With some careful internal deliberation, and consulting my wife, I came to the conclusion that my dad was likely to rub someone the wrong way in incarceration and be dealt more unnecessary harm. I immediately started working on how to get to Hawaii and help.

There are some details of the situation that can go without too much elaboration, but here is the basic breakdown of what I knew by Saturday night: After contacting various people on the island--one of whom is a friend with some higher experience in the court system in Hilo--I had several possible paths to follow; One, I could post his bail and work to arrange his transfer to a mental health facility on the mainland to serve whatever sentence was given; Two, I could work to get him moved out of the facility he was into a safer confinement at least until the trial; Three, well, there is no three. If one and two both failed, I'd have limited resources and options.

Saturday night I also booked the round-trip ticket to Kailua-Kona--$700. Next came room and board. Initially, I had planned on just winging it when I got to the island since I was on a very, very tight budget. I had borrowed some money, and other family members were providing the bail money. My wife was not alright with this arrangement at all. Eventually, I gave into her safer, practical sense and found a hotel for the duration of my stay; Monday through Friday--$140.11.

Another initial money-saving attempt was the idea that I would simply rent or borrow a bicycle. It made sense. I knew I could make the miles--even if I had to take frequent breaks it didn't matter because most of my activities would be mid-week, and I wasn't on any schedule otherwise except for working. My wife also did not like this idea, and after some research on the shoulder sizes of some of the highways there, I agreed. Besides, when I looked at the bikes, they were $15 a day--which is kind of awesome, really--but the car was only $24 plus tax and fees. $396.41.

At this point, I was left with $140. Total. ALL of my money totaled $140. Also, there was one more thing I wanted to buy before I left because it would be insanely expensive--cigarettes. I know what you're thinking, but seriously, I'm gearing up to fly 4400+ miles to try to get my nutter dad out of lock-up... I think I deserve my vice. I bought five packs. Total remaining budget: $83.

I knew that $83 had to buy my gas, which in the vehicle I selected would get me about 320 miles--conservatively--and cost about $75. This was close. Also, it may come as some surprise, but I actually require food to survive and function properly. My answer? Cliff bars. Seriously, 12 Cliff bars. I could probably get a couple of sandwiches with my remaining money, but only if I ran into problems.

Two pairs of shorts, two shirts, underwear, socks, laptop, Kindle, camera--you know, it is Hawaii--Bluetooth headset, chargers for the devices, 12 Cliff bars, water bottle, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, and my flip-out memo pad.

Her parents had agreed to take me to the airport--which was Indianapolis because it was the cheapest in my reasonable radius search with the twelve different departure and arrival date ranges I tried. They would pick me up at 5:30 am and have me to the airport by 7:30 am in order to catch my 10:00 am flight with plenty of fudge room.

I would like to mention that as I am writing this, I am also still engaged in this adventure. I started writing with the hopes of posting daily, but then the plan just started in motion and I became quickly distracted as you'll read in further posts. It's still Wednesday, so I'll write these entries and try to catch up again as soon as I can, but they may be posted days after they happen. As you'll discover soon, sleep became a problem almost immediately.

Sunday my wife and I had a couple of meltdowns. We're never apart and we like it that way. This is the longest we've ever been apart, and certainly the farthest. After our rollercoaster ride, she and I finally accepted that we were both scared of pretty much the same things, and most were statistically unlikely. Still, I wrote a "just in case" letter detailing some necessary emergency procedures and even more solemn things.

It took me hours to fall asleep, and even then I didn't sleep well. This would be the beginning of a trend that is still an issue. I'm getting quite tired, so I'll go into the time issues perhaps in the next post, but for now, I need to sleep the four hours I have to do so--provided I can.