Today, I’d like you to welcome a guest poster—EC Stilson. Last week, Wayman Press published the third book of her memoir trilogy. The first in the series is Bible Girl & Bad Boy, the second is Homeless in Hawaii, and the third is The Golden Sky. Wayman Publishing did not publish the books in this order, but if you are new to EC’s work, this is probably the order in which you’ll want to read the three volumes.
What follows is an excerpt from Homeless in Hawaii in which a seventeen-year-old Elisa flees her past and finds herself homeless on Waikiki strip. With her is a friend whose main intent seems to be to protect her from the misfortunes that might befall someone who’s left family and friends behind and now lives among strangers. As time passes, Hawaii works its magic. Elisa matures and finds herself letting go of the memories that haunt her.
I’ve guest posted on EC’s blog several times, and so I’m grateful to return that favor. If her excerpt piques your interest you’ll find Homeless in Hawaii on Amazon as a traditional trade paperback and as an e-book.
A Turning Point for Street Performers in Hawaii
That day, playing music on the street with Cade, our musical capabilities transitioned from merely playing, to performing. I’d stop in between songs and talk to the tourists. We laughed and joked. I knew what I was doing because during our slow times I made myself remember the notes of the “A” minor scale as numbers. When I talked to the tourists I had the whole thing planned.
“Do you want your own song?” I asked a darling little girl with curly blonde hair.
I stood up straight and looked her parents right in the eyes. Sure I was homeless. Sure, some people thought that made me scum, but they were wrong. God and I both knew that. “Can you give me ten of your favorite numbers? They can be random, or part of a phone number, part of an address.”
They gave me their phone number and I played each one as they fell on the “A” minor scale. It only took one short time through and I knew what the song would be. I switched to a major, added some fiddling double stops and danced around the girl. She danced with me and for a moment it was just her and me—two free creatures of God, enjoying what life had to offer.
When they left, Cade pulled me toward him. “Elisa, that was brilliant.”
“It taught me something. I want to stop judging myself by other people’s standards. I had so much fun.” Then I turned the tables on him. “Now I’m dancing and playing ‘phone numbers.’ You’re singing! What’s become of this world?”
For days after that, every single time we played on the street, people would leave tips. Kids would come up and ask for their very own songs. Word spread and people viewed us as regulars on the strip. An elderly couple who lived in town came to see us each night. A mysterious stranger with a lump on his neck continued coming.
But nothing really scared me anymore because we had a routine. We owned that strip, and not even the intimidating locals, who started watching us frequently, could discourage me.