My Kind of Town

Don Chapman

Buddha’s night out

>> Pipeline Cafe

Joe Kharma had never before in his life left a party early. And he sure didn't want to start now. Natural Vibrations was cooking on stage, the dance floor was filled with lovely ladies, including one he'd met a week ago at the Beach House and wanted to chat up, and he'd only had one beer.

"Why're we going now?" he complained as they stepped into the Kakaako night. "The party's just starting."

"Look at your brother's head," said Kamasami Khan.

Under the surfer boy blond wig and Quicksilver cap, the second Lama Jey Tsong Khapa's head was indeed starting to glow. Outside, without the flash of stage lights, it was even more noticeable.

"At least the truck has tinted windows," Khan said, hurrying the 18-year-old Buddha from Liliha across the street.

"Hey, wait for me!"

It was Bodhicita Guzman in her tight jeans and red halter top.

"Sorry, boys' night out," Khan said.

Ignoring Khan, she spoke directly to the young man she'd barely met and knew only as Jey: "But I want to follow you. You're the wise man my father told me about."

"Not tonight, babe," Khan said, keyed the auto-unlock button.

"Eh, dude, weren't you at the lama deal tonight at the Blaisdell?"

The voice came from a group of young men on their way to Pipeline.

Jey bowed slightly, smiled beatifically.

"Not you -- him! Eh, Joe! "

"Eh, Kalani, howzit!" Joe said, shook hands with the guy. "Yeah I was!"

"That whole lama thing is a trip, eh?"

Khan shot Joe an icy look.

"Uh, good to see you, man. We gotta go."

Bodhicita followed Jey and the others to Khan's red double-cab Ram 1500, and knew something was up when Khan opened the passenger side door for Jey. That was not the macho Kamasami Khan she knew.

"I'll get the door, Khan," she said. And then to Jey, "You were at the lama deal, weren't you?"

"Yes." A Buddha cannot lie, especially when it's in his own best interest.

"Of course." She pulled a piece of paper and a pen from her purse, scribbled something, handed it to Jey. "Call me, 'kay?"

"Kay? I thought your name was Bodhicita." A little Buddha joke.

She got it, smiled, on impulse reached out, touched Jey's hand and felt ... lighter somehow, unburdened and hopeful. Their eyes met, and Bodhicita had never seen anything as beautiful as the serenity in his face.

She closed the door softly, watched the truck's tail lights disappear, carrying away the man she was born to know. And to love, it appeared.

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


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