My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Tuesday, May 29, 2001

The same language

>>H-1, Koko Head-bound

Now that Lily was so close to Quinn, she was at once filled with peace and strain. This is the man with whom she wanted to forever be. This is her first cousin with whom she must never be.

"Boy, you got hammered, huh?" And he smiled that smile. "So what's up?"

"Long story." She waved her hand, looked away toward the buildings of Waikiki turning golden in the sun's light.

"Another time." Quinn shrugged. "So how's your family? How about your dad, he's still alive?"

Lily let out a deep sigh. "Yes."

Quinn felt her anger, flashed her a what's-that-all-about look.

"My f-- father is why I took off and got drunk today, OK?"

Quinn just nodded.

"Sorry. I don't usually use that particular word."

"Well, at least I know we speak the same language." That smile again, and she had to laugh. The freeway ended, Kalanianaole Highway began.

"Oh, Quinn, can I ask one more favor? I have to make a stop at Foodland and get some Popsicles for a little girl."

"You have kids?"

"No no no. Not even close. The way I see it, call me old-fashioned, you're supposed to have a husband first. And I'm not close to one of those either."

Quinn knew that wasn't supposed to be good news, but it was. "So why the Popsicles?"

"For Elizabeth, the daughter of my maid. She's got a fever."

"You have a maid?"

"What can I say, Quinn -- I'm not the domestic type."

>>Queen's Medical Center

The toughest job in the ER? Look at this way. Nobody else wanted Lin Matsuo's job. While everyone else was trying to heal and save people, Lin had to call their families and share the bad news. But she was good at it, and in her darker moments wondered if that's really such a good thing or not, being good at bad news. Like the TV evening news. But it was a crucial part of what they did at the ER.

This patient, a young man who suffered severe head trauma when he was attacked and fell at the Capitol during the hate crimes bill rally -- and who now was breathing only with the aid of tubes in his nose -- carried a wallet.

His Hawaii driver's license identified him as Lance F.Q. Ah Sun. The address corresponded to an address in the phone book for "Ah Sun, Sheets & Grace" with one of the old 261-- Kailua numbers.

Lin dialed it and a woman's recorded voice answered. "This is Lin Matsuo from Queen's Medical Center, calling for Mr. or Mrs. Ah Sun. Please call me, it's quite important." And left her cell number.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin.
He can be emailed at

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