Don we now our gay apparel
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
– “Deck the Halls”
There’s nothing like a little pau hana retail therapy on a payday
Friday. And furthermore, nothing like a pre-shopping frenzy cocktail at
Koho’s. Krista and I did both, successfully, and with much gusto. Also,
we discussed how satisfying buying new lip-gloss and cute shoes can be,
and alternately, how it can profoundly disappoint.
“Sometimes it’s like bad sex, you know, when there’s no
fulfillment,” Krista said. “But when you wait long enough and you
really want it, you get exactly what you need.”
And get it we did—in the form of a peacock feather dress and kimono shirt—for approximately $76.32.
“That’s less money than a visit to the shrink for investing in the wrong man,” said my astute friend.
After a quick costume change at our perspective abodes, we headed to
Charley’s—our favorite pre-destination destination and home of our
favorite girl-crush bartendress, Dani. We admired the large Christmas
tree with the flashing blue-green star by the front door, relishing its
scent as Dani told us how excited she was to be going home to New York
for the holidays.
Happy for her but seething with jealousy, we ordered our drinks and
glanced around, noticing a curious collection of attractive young men
in weird shirts.
“I feel like I’m in the Czech Republic,” Krista said.
Then when we eyed a round table full of burly Englishmen, Krista saw
an old friend. So while they caught up, I recalled some recent
discussions I’ve had concerning this column:
“I don’t know what to write,” I’d said to my editor.
“Surely you’ve done something interesting lately,” he said back.
“I’m just not interesting anymore,” I said to Jen later, on the phone.
“Yes you are,” she said. “You just don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
“Why don’t you just go out with the girls?” the boyfriend said. “You know, and write about it.”
“Good idea,” I said.
And so I resumed, like so many times in the past, to whip out my
notepad right there at the bar. As always, I tried to be discreet but a
man with a shaved head and piercing blue eyes sitting on the opposite
side of Krista began smirking.
“I know who you are,” he said, squinting at me. “And hey, good for you.”
“Hunh?” I said, in full deer-in-headlights mode.
Here I hadn’t yet written a word and was already getting squeamish
about the prospects. But it turned out I had nothing to fear but my own
anxiety, as the guy revealed that he hadn’t been out in 18 years.
Krista and I were dumbfounded. And enthralled.
He said he grew up in New Jersey, and talked about surfing in its
cold and dirty water. He said that once he went surfing shortly after a
big oil spill and when he got out of the water, his wet suit was
covered in it. He took off for Hawai`i a week later. That was 20 years
A wife, three kids and a divorce later, he finds himself here. With us. At Charley’s.
“It’s all different faces, different attitudes now,” he said. “It’s interesting.”
Understandably, the whole bar social scene’s made him a bit nervous. But then he had a Guinness and shot of Jagermeister.
“And now I’m feeling a little more comfortable,” he said.
We leaned in and sympathetically batted our eyelashes. While Krista
offered an inspiring pep talk, I ordered more shots—Tuaca, as the poor
man had never savored the orange-vanilla liqueur’s smooth
Then he and Krista began reminiscing about Paia “back in the day,”
when there was a Peaches & Crumble bakery and a pre-Sandbar,
pre-Wunderbar joint none of us could name.
“I’m really happy to have met you guys,” said Jersey Boy. We gushed back.
“Ya, we have good ju-ju,” said Krista. “We have a tendency to meet the right people at the right times.”
Tendency? I thought to myself. I’d put the breakdown more at 50-50.
Later, when Jersey Boy and Krista got into a discussion about
cabinet making, the guy on my left took the opportunity to say hello.
“Hey, that’s my picture on the wall,” he said. “See it? Yeah, that’s me surfing the big waves.”
Regrettably not having anything to say other than, “Wow, that’s
cool—I don’t surf but my picture’s on the wall at the Sly Mongoose,” I
turned back to Krista and Jersey Boy talking about kids. Consequently,
I was feeling a little inadequate in both conversations.
Since Krista and I were actually on our way to the Muvment Party at
Manana Garage, we said our goodbyes. Bashfully, I gave Jersey Boy a big
bear hug and sighed.
“You’re better than I imagined,” he said softly.
Samantha Campos hasn’t been
particularly naughty or nice this year but has been hording mistletoe
in her attic and it’s really beginning to smell. MTW