Back in the 1970s, my parents divorced. Not sure how, but my dad kept the house, the Pan Am stewardess and the dog. Mom got 100 bucks a month. Her lawyer told her, “Don’t worry about it. You’re so pretty you’ll be re-married in a year anyway.” So we moved into a cheap, rundown apartment next to a gay bar on Kuhio Street in Waikiki. This bar had a huge outdoor dance space. Now, I was too young to remember this, but according to Mom, every night we’d open the windows to get some fresh air and heard the thumping disco beat of Donna Summer and Diana Ross, mixed in with laughter and cheers when a favorite song was played.
After a while, mom started to worry that the gay bar was interrupting my sleep. It was certainly affecting hers. It was so raucous, so wild! Since I was sleeping on the floor because we had no furniture, she at least wanted to give me some peace. She saved up and bought a fan. That night she came into my room, plugged in the fan and shut the window. The fan made a loud whirring noise that drowned out the bar. Mom felt good, protecting me from the crazy decadence drifting in from next door. She tucked me in, kissed my head and I started to cry.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“I hate it.”
“No lullaby,” I sniffled.
“You want me to sing you a lullaby?” Mom was tired. It had been a long day. She didn’t have time for this shit.
So with tears filling my eyes I wailed, “Nooooo! The Disco Lullaby!”
Mom understood immediately. She unplugged the fan and opened the window to let in the joyous noise of the gay bar.
For the rest of our days in that apartment, Mom slept next to the fan, while I fell asleep with the Hawaiian breeze on my face and the comforting sounds of the Disco Lullaby.