I went to Kawate Seed Shop early yesterday afternoon. There was a long line but not excessively so. As I stood in the line, a man approached me and asked if I wanted his bagged lunch. It had an apple, an orange, and a peanut butter sandwich. He said it was "professionally" packaged at Hale Nani, where he must have come from, I figured later. I decided to take it off his hands, and stood holding it for a while, before putting it in the car and getting back in the line.
Most of the people coming out had ice shaves, which I wasn't there for. A woman in line said school let out every other Friday at one-fifteen, so another said now she had to deal with the school crowds. There was a local kid with his hair dyed berry-red. As the line moved forward every time people left the shop, I looked up at the sky and at the bench with people's names carved in the wood.
Finally I got in, and looked at the jars of crack seed, most of which were empty. The first jars I saw held licorice olives. There was candied ginger too. No. I knew I'd get li hing mui or at least lemon. The shop was narrow and crowded, more so because of all the customers. I went to the end of the room and looked at the li hing mui, choosing a quarter-pound of baby seed. The lady scooped some out and weighed the bag, just over the amount I ordered. I paid and left, just after one-fifty. I don't know how long I was in line, maybe twenty or thirty minutes. But that was the last time I went to Kawate. The store closes permanently this afternoon.