You break the surface. The salt has caused your mucous membranes to leak copious amounts of gunk into your face mask; you wipe it away as you hand your fins up to the deckhand, and haul your body up out of the water, up the ladder. The heavy air tank causes you to waddle around the deck to your assigned seat, where you sit down carefully, and ease the weight of the tank off your back. Close the valve and vent the regulator, now, check your final pressure and note it in your log.

Wipe the warm salt water out of your hair, feel it drying on your skin, look up at a brilliant blue sky and smile, remembering the dart of fishes and the drift of rays, and the dark shadow of a reef shark in the murky blue distance. Sit back and relax on the long trip back to Kona.

Hit the pier, dump your bags in the back of the car and drive, drive alone and listen to soaring music, bone-tired but exultant. Park. Elevator. Up. Exit onto atrium level six, green tree-fronds a specialty.

Open the door, and walk into a blissfully air-conditioned hotel room. Go to the microfridge and take out the water of life, shimmering brilliant magenta as you pour it into a glass. No ice.

The deck now, with cigarettes. Put your feet up on the rail, ease back in the chair, look out on the boats in the bay, the aqua-blue coral reef, the beach and the coconut palms and the girls. Light up and take a sip, feeling the brilliant sweetness course down your throat, and laugh cockily, knowing perfectly damned well that you are the single luckiest bastard on the face of the planet, here in the little piece of Paradise you've rented.

Know the nectar of bliss that is guava.

And later, in the dark, with vodka.