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My Kind of Town

Don Chapman

Monday, July 21, 2003


Afterglowing


>> Off Kona

Lying in the afterglow, still catching his breath, Cruz MacKenzie rolled over to kiss Sonya Chan again, and to look at her, and through the porthole saw a sailboat anchored 30 yards away. He hadn't noticed it there last night or earlier this morning. But then, he wasn't paying much attention to anything except Sonya. Painted in black block letters on the stern were the words "WET SPOT -- Honolulu." How apropos.

"Coffee?" Sonya said, sounding perky, as if she were already two cups into the day.

"Definitely." He'd had one glass of wine too many last night.

She scuttled out of bed and across the galley and put water on the stove. God, Sonya looked good. Cruz could have stayed there all day making love with her. But he had a column to write. "Uh, could I borrow a razor?"

"Sure," she said a little too brightly. Then reality rudely returned with the low rumble of water preparing to boil. "Daren's stuff ... it's still in the bathroom ... use whatever you need."

She reached for a kitchen towel and tried in vain to make it into a modest body wrap. It's skimpicity merely made her more alluring. She didn't care. She was covered.

The boat's head was just slightly smaller than a phone booth and Cruz stubbed the baby toe of his right foot on the bulkhead. Slapping warm water on his face, he cracked an elbow against the wall. Wincing, he banged his knee on the sink. No wonder Daren Guy grew a beard.

Cruz picked up the dead man's razor. It gleamed silvery and new. Not until warm water began running onto the tops of Cruz's feet did he realize that he'd been standing at the sink staring into the mirror with Daren Guy's razor in hand and the water running for over a minute. Suddenly, the boat's bathroom sink had backed up. He turned off the water flow, but the sink drain was totally clogged.

"Cofee's ready," Sonya called, and they sat and sipped quietly.

"How about some miso ahi?" she said. She opened the small refrigerator.

"Hmmm, I could have sworn we had a nice chunk of tuna in here. Daren must have had it ... Oh, well, more coffee?"

"I'd love to hang with you ..." He kissed her cheek. "... but I gotta go to work." In the head, the sink was still clogged. "You have a plunger?"

"Daren had one somewhere around here," Sonya said, tightening the tiny towel tied around her chest as she peered into a cabinet. "Here it is!"

Cruz set the plunger over the sink drain and pumped. Down-up, down-up, downupdownupdown. He lifted the plunger from the sink and brought with it a tangled mat of wiry black hair.

"Gross!"

"What the ... it's ... oh my God! ... Daren's beard!"



See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek. His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin. He can be e-mailed at dchapman@midweek.com

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