My Kind of Town

Don Chapman

Truckin’ lama

» Kaimuki

Having searched the yard with Michael Tenzin Campbell, and having found no sign of Fon Du, Kamasami Khan was halfway back around the side of Bodhicita Guzman's cottage when he heard the engine of his Ram 1500 rumble louder than the idle in which he'd left it -- with the AC going for the comfort of the second Lama Jey Tsong Khapa and Bodhicita, his eternal consort, on this humid, windless night.

"What the ... "

He started running, saw the truck reversing into 9th Avenue.

"Hey, stop!"

He ran after the truck.

"Dammit, Bodhicita, this is not funny!"

He didn't know for sure that she was driving, but the lama didn't know how to drive. He guessed they wanted some private time alone. Or maybe the young lama wanted to drive. He did love experiencing the real world.

The truck accelerated away.

Khan chased after it, saw the red tail lights flare.

Good, they were stopping.

Through the tinted windows, he couldn't see inside.

As he caught up to the truck, the driver's side window went down.

"Real funny, you two," he said a moment before he saw the nose of the pistol, saw a flash, heard a bang, saw his left shoulder explode and gush red.

He grabbed at the wound, dropped to his knees as the truck sped off, the sound of Bodhicita's screaming being carried away.

In the rearview mirror, Fon Du saw the second guy run to the guy in black, help him to his feet. Already he was making a call from his cell phone. Minutes mattered now.

"Shut up, Bodhicita," he said, turning in the seat so she could see his face, pointing the pistol at the lama, "or he gets it."

She gasped, gulped, covered her mouth with her hands. "O... OK," she whispered.

"You," the lama said, as if meeting a pen pal from halfway around the world for the first time, "must be Fon Du."

The Chinese secret police agent grunted.

"I've heard so much about you," the lama continued as the truck sped up Pahoa. "And I've wanted to be able to sit with you and talk. I feel I have much to learn from you, and perhaps you might learn something from me."

Fon Du started to tell him to shut up too, but there was something in the sound of his voice. Something like music.

"There is nothing to discuss," he said. "We have nothing in common."

"Oh, but yes we do," the lama said happily. "We both wear robes. I must say, that pink is very nice."

Stopping for the light at Koko Head, Fon Du took it as a compliment.

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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