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My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Sunday, December 30, 2001


The Honolulu Soap Co.:
Sunday digest

>> Queen's Medical Center

Mits Ah Sun's mouth was doing a really good impression of the doorway in which he stood -- wide open. And at first, neither his son Quinn nor the woman bending over his bed noticed him standing there. Mits could hear fevered breathing and see passioned groping. But that wasn't the problem. His son was a tall, good-looking hapa kid who worked out, and was blessed with an easy megawatt smile. Young women - and not so young women for that matter - were attracted to him. A woman being there wasn't what shocked him.

Mits had received an OK from his major at the Pearl City police station to report for duty a little late after checking on his son. Quinn was a cop too, solo bike detail, and he'd been shot in the thigh last night while at his cousin Lily's home. That was worrisome enough because the two wings of the Ah Sun clan had not communicated in 27 years, since that night in Waimanalo. Lily had come in last night to see Quinn and it was, well, tense at best between long-lost uncle and niece.

And that's why Mits just stood there, mouth at half-mast. He recognized the woman with her lips on Quinn's - Lily - her arms around him. And the implications of this reunion - hell, the way they were going it was about to become a union! - were devastating. Breathing was difficult, much less talking, but somehow Mits managed to whisper-croak: "Oh my God."

But they were so, ah, involved that they didn't notice him, and now began touching each other in ways that cousins really should not. Mits didn't mind a little soft porn on cable TV, but this was too much.

Still, their total immersion gave him a way out, and a way to save face for all concerned. Mits started to back out of the doorway, closing it gently behind him.

>> In a way it pleased Grace Ah Sun to see her husband Sheets so obviously devastated by the injury to their youngest child, who lay in a coma in the ICU. Sheets and Lance had never been close, certainly not as close as Sheets was with Lance's older brother Laird, or even with her eldest child Lily. It had a lot to do, Grace knew, with Lance not being as aggressive as Laird, or Lily. He was drawn to the arts, not sports. She recalled the day when Lance was 8 or 9 and declined to go fishing with his dad and big brother because he wanted to bake snickerdoodles with his sister. Sheets had muttered more than once, "I just don't understand that boy."

After Lance was attacked while walking arm-in-arm with another man during the hate crimes bill rally, it didn't take Detective Sherlock Gomes to deduce that Lance was gay. But after 28 years of marriage Grace knew her husband well enough, and Sheets' despondency went beyond knowing his son was gay and would not be carrying on the family name. Which was important to him because there aren't a lot of Ah Suns in the phone book. But more than that, Grace was sure, the reason Sheets was slumped in a chair across the room, lost in sorrow, was fatherly concern for Lance.

>> Each moment that Lily Ah Sun's lips touched the lips of her cousin Quinn was a moment closer to totally abandoning what she had always believed about intimate relations between close relations: Bad bad bad. She breathed "Oh Quinn..."

"Lily," he whispered hoarsely down low in his throat, "yes." His voice had a guttural, animal quality and it made her purr.

"And how is Mr. Ah Sun doing this morning?" a nurse called and pushed open the door. She answered her own question with a mix of cheerful and wishful: "Oh, I see he's doing very well indeed!"

Lily practically gave herself whiplash turning around so fast. She stumbled down from the bed, lost her balance from standing up too fast, had to grab the bed for balance.

And the nurse wasn't alone. There in the doorway was Lily's Uncle Mits, Quinn's father.

>> Sheets Ah Sun was so far into his own misery, he didn't notice his wife Grace rise from the chair across the room. Her hand on his shoulder caught him by surprise and he jumped.

"Daddy," she said softly. "Don't lose hope. Akua will hear our prayers."

The way he looked up at her, Grace wasn't sure that Sheets had heard what she said.

"Oh," he said, taking a moment to come back from his darkest thoughts, glancing at their son Lance lying unconscious. "That. Sure."

Grace frowned. Something other than Lance was bothering Sheets. But what could be worse than seeing your son near death?

"Daddy, are you alright?" He didn't look good.

"OK," he said, waving the question away. Not oration exactly, but not monosyllabic either. After 28 years with Sheets, Grace was used to monosyllabic.

He suddenly sat upright, on full alert. "What's that?!"

Grace felt it too, like somebody had just cranked up the AC. Not that the room was getting colder, but she felt the air moving, as if pushed toward her. And then it was as if a very large something passed, creating eddies in its wake. Something, someone, was moving in the room. Grace reached for Sheets' hand, clutched it, and closed her eyes in whispered prayer.

When she opened her eyes, Grace saw a very tall, very brown, very naked woman leaning over Lance, whispering to him in Hawaiian, breathing on his face, touching her nose to his, kissing him on the lips.




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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