My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Vol. 1: The Honolulu Soap Co.

Class reunion

>>H-1 Ewa-bound

Lily pulled her teal BMW into the middle lane to let Mr. Impatient Motorcycle Cop with his flashing blue light and shrieking siren pass. But he followed. Uh-oh.

In the rearview mirror, she saw the cop point at her with a gloved hand and then emphatically toward the next exit. Lily slowed, slid into the right lane behind a smoking tour bus -- returning from the Official All-American All-Night Beach 'N Beer Bash that the former mayor was now running at Hanauma Bay -- and took the Wilder exit.

The cop followed and, thank God, Lily thought, turned off the siren when she pulled into the Arco/7-Eleven lot, where all the lined spaces were full, so she looped back around and parked parallel to Wilder, facing everyone who stopped at the six-way intersection of Wilder, Clement, Metcalf and Farrington streets.

The cop stopped behind her, blue light still flashing on his new BMW superbike. Perfect, so her Punahou classmates could see her getting tagged as they took their children to school. It's great catching up with you like this, really.

Looking in her rearview mirror Lily thought, the cop makes that huge bike look tiny!

Nobody noted the faded gray sedan -- made in the days when Japanese imports were nondescript, boxy and prone to rust -- taking the Wilder exit and coasting into the Arco station.

The young male driver slowly pulled himself out of the car. He wore dark blue surf shorts that hung low and showed the top of his BVDs, and a navy "EH!" T-shirt cut short to show off his stretch-marked beer gut. Unless he was six months pregnant.

He didn't know the name of the babe in the Beamer, just knew he liked her look when he saw her jogging in Hawaii Kai yesterday and followed her home.

But if he had only read the profile on her and her company in the business section of yesterday's Star-Bulletin, he'd have known all about Lily Ah Sun, whose Ola Essences was a pioneer in phyto-cosmetics and one of Hawaii's hottest companies.

But he didn't read the paper, not even the sports section. Not even the TV guide.

>>Tomorrow: Don't I know you?

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the
Star-Bulletin. Reach him online at

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