sunset over Hanalei Bay

Ask More Questions: The Fighter

Oh hi there. It’s been a while.

I took an extended leave of absence from this blog to work my way through a graduate degree in journalism, which was a blast. Now, I’m not quite as interested in writing about my own stories. Turns out, it’s a lot of fun meeting new people and figuring out what questions will prompt them to share their best stories.

That’s where the name of this series comes from: “Ask More Questions.” It’s become a mantra for me, and I hope it will encourage you to ask more questions of others, whether complete strangers, acquaintances, or people you’ve known most of your life. You never know what you’ll find out!

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Who: A masseuse/former freelance writer in Kauai

The question that led to the story: “What did you like to write about?”

sunset over Hanalei Bay

The sun sets over Hanalei Bay in Kauai (Photo by Cassie Ronda)

The Fighter

She would sit in the oceanside cafe every day, the cafe where she would write. She would write about protests and rallies, the environment, the things that mattered to her. She would use strong words, fighting words.

When she wasn’t writing, she would talk to him for hours. The Frenchman.

Her feelings for the Frenchman were flurried and deep.

“We were madly in love with each other,” she says.

They would talk and talk, filling the cafe with their excited words.

One day, the Frenchman took his seat and said, “So, what are we fighting today?”

Fighting? Fighting?

“I always considered myself a peacenik,” she says.

His question lingered later as she walked along the boardwalk. She spotted a palm reader offering insight for cheap, and she couldn’t refuse. The woman told her to make a fist. Then she tap-tap-tapped her fingers on the flesh that joins the thumb and first finger.

“Ah, you’re a fighter!” the palm reader said.

A fighter? A fighter?

“Suddenly, I realized,” she says, “you can’t fight for peace. You can’t fight for peace. So I stopped fighting.”

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Note: For any concerned journalists out there, this is not a journalistic piece. I’ve chosen to leave out names. Quotes and paraphrases are based on notes I took shortly after the conversation. The story itself is based solely on the memory of the storyteller.