The sun wanders in and out of the clouds all afternoon over Waikiki beach, paying no heed to the sunbathers below suffering through cold flashes each time it sneaks behind another cloud. From time to time, the clouds release moisture on the bathers below, irritating them out of their slumber or drizzling on the pages of their novels. Children frolic in the waves not caring as their parents scowl at the sky.
As the sun makes it's way lower in the western sky, most people begin to pack their things. They reapply layers of clothing, shake the sand out of towels, drop the un-necessary sunscreen into tropical tote bags and head for rental cars and hotel rooms leaving the beach to a devoted few.
A man in a low slung beach chair in a baseball cap nursing a carbonated beverage from the straw of a cup imprinted from a Hawaiian BBQ chain, his skin so deeply tanned he must do this often. Several tourists cluster under the gazebo at the end of the boardwalk hoping for the best of both worlds--to stay dry and enjoy the sunset. And a couple from the mainland, still pasty pale from lack of sun for the duration of their Hawaiian vacation. They sit on the beach on a woven beach mat somebody left behind, wrapped together in a gawdy beach towel advertising their tourist status.
"It's not going to be much of a sunset anyway." He says.
"It will be lovely," she insists. "Besides, it will stop raining any minute now. It's been doing this all day."
The mist turns to a sprinkle and the sun's journey turns agonizingly slow. The sprinkle turns to an out and out rain. The tourists under the gazebo figure out their shelter is only for show and scurry for actual cover. The native in the beach chair sips his soda.
"I can't even see the sun."
"It's right there," she points a finger out of the towel. "We're from Oregon. A little rain won't hurt us."
The rain turns to down pour, dripping off eyelashes, dousing scalps. The ocean, sky and sun want this moment to themselves and they almost get their way, save the man in the chair who comes here every Monday and the two from Oregon who insist on seeing the show.
At long last, the blur of reddish light sinks below the grey horizon. The interlopers rise in unison, the native slings the chair over his shoulder and recommends a place for dinner as the tourists return their mat to recycling. The three make their way to the crosswalk, rinsing their feet in puddles along the way.
The sunset itself was unimpressive, the mark of nature being so secure it doesn't feel the need to always impress. And yet, the moment is impressed on the memory of the tourists, and they will remember it as a most impressive Hawaiian sunset.