My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Tuesday, July 9, 2002

Back in the race

>> Makiki Heights

Machiavelli Wang parked on the road, walked down a steep driveway to a hillside bungalow. So this was where Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka disappeared to. Machiavelli had to reel him back in. Too much was riding on the election. Reputations. Futures. Dollars, lots of them. Just as Machiavelli walked into the carport, a door to the cottage opened.

A semblance of the senator stepped outside carrying a blowgun.

"Where the hell do you think you're going looking like that?" Machiavelli demanded, sounding more like a father than a campaign consultant.

The senator was stunned to see his mentor and it took a moment for the face to register, to make the leap from one world to another.

Machiavelli was no less stunned. The senator's square jaw was covered with stubble. His skin was oily, sweat beaded on his brow. His hair, normally perfectly coifed by Debra Rego, seemed not to have been washed or combed in days. His breath wreaked of alcohol and smoke. His eyes were red and puffy. And he was agitated, jumpy.

"My God, look at you, Donovan! You look like a damn Hotel Street derelict!"

The senator shrugged. What else do you call someone who's been drunk and iced out four days running.

"Where are you going with that thing?" Machiavelli said, nodding at the blowgun.

"To meet someone."

"I refuse to let you go anywhere looking like that."

"I have to."

"Donovan, you're back in the race!"

"Was I out?"

Machiavelli rolled his eyes, took a deep breath, forced himself not to scream. "Yes! First, you miss the end of the session, totally AWOL. Then a former hooker crashes your car off the Keeaumoku Overpass -- naked, drunk and with drug paraphernalia. It doesn't look good. And then the Star-Bulletin runs a photo of you throwing a bottle of beer at the photographer."

"I remember. So that's who that was."

How could such a smart man be so stupid?! "But the mayor just announced he's out. Everybody's talking about problems with his campaign finances. And voters have short memories, Donovan. You're back in it!"


"But we have to get you cleaned up." In more ways than one.

"Sure." He could visit Laurie's condo later. He doubted that Sherlock Gomes would be leaving right after dinner. He had plenty of time to stop Gomes' or-else plan to send him to a mainland rehab clinic. Just over 14 hours. Machiavelli wouldn't take that long.

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

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