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My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Sunday, November 25, 2001


The Honolulu Soap Co.:
Sunday digest

>> Ala Moana Beach Park

HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes and Dr. Laurie Tang of the Queen's ER lived in the literal world. What was, was, and that was that. And when Gomes opened the hatch of the WWII-vintage Japanese mini-sub that had beached itself like a whale at the Diamond Head end of the park, with Laurie riding it cowgirl style after it lifted her out of the water during the last yards of her swim, they'd both seen the naked Hawaiian woman inside the sub kissing the head of the sub's lone occupant -- which turned out to be a skeleton -- coming up out of the hatch past them.

"You sure you didn't see a naked wahine?" Gomes asked extreme photographer Johnny B. Goo, who said he'd started shooting when the sub was 30 yards from the beach.

"See for yourself," Johnny B said. "It's digital."

Standing in the shade of the second lifeguard tower, Johnny B held his camera so Gomes and Laurie could see his Nikon's display window. They had to press their heads and bodies together.Touching the lean, buff cop sent shivers through Laurie. He was affecting her in a way that her boyfriend, Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka, never had. As for Gomes, well, police work was seldom been better than this.

"What the hell is that?!" Johnny B said. In this photo, the hatch was up, but a white cloud seemed to be rising from it. He clicked a button and the next frame appeared in the display window, and Johnny B swore again. The white cloud enveloped Gomes and Laurie. He clicked again. The next photo showed the cloud hovering over them as they looked inside the hatch, and in the next moving over the sub. "Damn, some moisture must have gotten into the lens."

Laurie clutched Gomes' arm. "I don't think so. Those frames, that's when we saw her."

Gomes nodded.

"What are you saying?" Johnny B said.

"I think, Mr. Goo, that you did get photos of the woman we saw."

>> Wearing wrap-around shades and a Dodgers cap pulled down low, Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka watched from behind a monkeypod tree. It drove him crazy to see Laurie and Gomes so close. But he'd watch some more, waiting to see what kind of car Gomes drove and get his license number.

>> This was more than just a damn cop asking questions. That much was obvious to Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka. Something was going on here. And how long had this been going on between Laurie and Gomes? Laurie was toweling off after her shower, and Donovan could see in the way she watched Gomes shower that she was having carnal thoughts. Gomes stepped from the shower, realized he didn't have a towel. Donovan about choked when Laurie took her towel and draped it around Gomes' shoulders, from the front, her chest pressing into his for just a moment.

Donovan was right about one thing. Laurie was having carnal thoughts like she'd never known before. But Donovan was also wrong about one thing. Until moments ago, nothing had been going on at all between Laurie and Gomes. But Donovan was doing what cheaters usually do: assume their partner is cheating too. The one who breaks the trust breaks it both ways. And then there was the paranoia induced by a three-day binge of smoking crystal methamphetamine. So based on a false assumption and lies of the smoke, Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka renewed his vow: Gomes must go.

Gomes quickly toweled off, handed the towel back to Laurie.

"I still need to ask you some questions," he said.

"Of course." What a difference a submarine can make. Pre-submarine, Laurie was dreading answering questions about her relationship with Donovan. Now, post-sub, she was happy for any excuse to spend more time with Gomes.

>> All these people were just gawkers, but Jimmy Ahuna had a relationship with this WWII-vintage Japanese mini-sub. The Pearl Harbor Shipyard retiree had seen it while throw net fishing at Queen's Beach recently. Then this morning while it was still dark, Jimmy was setting up his brackets and poles along the seawall above the channel that leads from the open sea to the calm waters inside the reef when the sub slid past, then sank out of sight. Just now he'd seen it rise out of the sea with a girl riding on top. Walking along the beach for a closer look at the sub, Jimmy heard a woman say his name. "Aloha, Jimmy."

Son of a gun. A brown-skinned woman, about 6 foot 2, was walking beside him, stark naked. "Aloha, Ho'ola. Where you been all my life?"

>> Sharing a park bench with Gomes, Laurie threw her head back, laughing. This sure didn't look like any police interrogation Donovan had ever seen. And he'd been in one just last night with Gomes.




Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be emailed at dchapman@midweek.com



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