August 31, 2006
Life is a series of surprises, and would not be worth taking or keeping if it were not. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I pulled up to her house, Jen was already outside smoking. For the past couple weeks, my dear friend had been tightly wound by the preparations of finally leaving Maui for good, returning to her hometown on the mainland and settling down with her man.
But as soon as she saw me roll up in a lowered, shiny black, pseudo-race car with luminous chrome rims, her eyes grew wide and her face lightened.
"Whose car is that?!" she asked, mouth agape.
I burst out laughing.
After we picked up Kim and giggled vociferously at her shocked reaction to the sporty pimp-mobile, the girls immediately began coming up with possible names for my unexpectedly blinged-out new ride.
"Well, it definitely has masculine and feminine elements to it," Jen said. "I think you should name it 'Danica,' the transsexual beauty queen from the Philippines."
While the girls continued discussing the matter, I marveled at how radically different this new car is from my rugged old Jeep pal, Rocky. I certainly never expected to be driving around a vehicle that looks like it should come with its own pit crew, and which also prompted my smirking publisher to loan me his copy of The Fast and the Furious.
But who knows? Maybe the change of pace will do me good.
The girls and I had a rather sumptuous dinner in Wailea, feasting on plate after plate of rich, buttery goodness, to the point of where we simply could not get up from our cushy red leather booth.
"I really have to go to the bathroom," said Kim.
"Cinch it," said Jen, unapologetically not budging.
"I'm gonna fart on you."
"Well then, pinch it!"
"I really can't get up," I said. "Too bad we can't just sit here and roll this booth out to the next place."
"Yeah," said Kim. "'Cause then it would be appropriate to say, 'That's how we roll!'"
We did eventually stumble with full and happy bellies over to Lotus, a recently opened nightclub in the gorgeously decorated Fire Dragon restaurant. The place was jamming but after a quick tour to admire the sights and sounds, we found a quiet nook amidst pillows on a couch.
"This wristband is so tight, I'm getting indigestion," said Kim.
In honor of Jen's last weekend on Maui, we whooped it up in a few bars in Kihei that night. And at some point, a young man approached me in need of some reciprocal flirting. Of course in the past this has not been a problem. But recently I've been reconsidering my stance.
"I-I-I'm kinda seeing someone," I explained later to the girls.
"Oh, come on!" said Jen. "I'm trying to live vicariously through you! Besides, you can't be that serious about the guy if you haven't even introduced him to me yet."
A couple days later, I took my new ride back to the Westside to say goodbye to Jen, who would be leaving the next day. My new male friend was driving—I enjoyed having someone else take the wheel for a change—and I looked over at him suddenly, admiring his profile against the sun setting over the channel between Lanai and Molokai.
He returned my gaze with a sly sideways grin and reached for my hand. For once, I was calm. Instead of feeling nauseous or terrified, or over-analyzing the implications and then slyly opening the door handle so I could roll onto the pavement sliding so swiftly beneath us—I just sighed happily and smiled back.
Samantha Campos wants everyone to know that though she is genetically predisposed to do otherwise, she did indeed put that second chocolate cupcake back in the box. MTW
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