This is Guam

Guam is a tiny island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Most people couldn’t tell you where it is. Heck, if you gave me a map and told me to point it out I’d jab my finger somewhere random in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and tell you there it is. And you’d probably believe me. Most people don’t even know what a Guam is. The place only received any attention because the North Koreans threatened to nuke it.

I grew up in New York City, where the number of people in my apartment complex was roughly equal to the population of Guam. A city where the honking of cars, and the bustling of people was music to your ears. Moving to this island was a drastic change for sure. I’d grown up with a Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, and Chipotle on every single block – all of which were necessities to me by the way. (There was one month where I ate a Chipotle bowl every day for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. Judge me as you will, it was fucking delicious and I have no regrets). None of those restaurants exist on this island. And believe me when I say I have looked, and looked, and looked… and looked…

The change from city life to island life was brutal at first. There are so many things a massive city like Manhattan has to offer that a tiny island simply can’t (decent wifi for one). Customer service is slow. There is a monopoly over the cell phone lines, so the prices are higher and the connection is slower. You can’t drive anywhere without the disaster that are Guam’s roads jolting your car worse than the Derby Racer Roller Coaster. If you think littering is bad in the city, you haven’t seen the half of it. You’ll find more empty beer cans and random junk while strolling down a beach than in a hobo’s shopping cart.

But once in a while you find peace of mind. When you hike up Mount Lamlam, the tallest peak on the island, and look out past the horizon. There are no honking horns or weirdos harassing you. All you hear is the far off lull of the sea. All you feel is the sweet, sweet wind brushing against your face. Then there’s the smell. No stinking sewage. Only the scent of grass, and wood, and smoke, and holy shit something is on fire!

And now you’re scrambling for cover because the grass is on fire because the heat has dried everything out.


This is Guam.

4 thoughts on “This is Guam

  1. This was great. When I was in the Air Force I was never stationed in Guam, but all of my fellow Airmen who had been there always had something to say about it, but none of it as original as what you have written- made me smile. And thank you for your kind notice of my recent poem. Enjoy the ocean breezes and watch out for the brown snakes. 🙂

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