Around midday, I decide I’ll go out for a cocktail at sunset.
I email Yared, an Ethiopian private wealth manager, who grew up in San Diego and Marseille and whom I had met by chance last year when I was here for three and a half months before heading to Australia for six months.
Yared is quite easily the most elegant man I’ve ever met. Beautiful eyes, skin and teeth; slim, graceful and intelligent, and always so remarkably well-dressed that at first I had thought he was gay. Until he told me how many different international models he’d dated.
So, you’re a modelizer, I had teased him after the story of the Texas blonde with big tits (every man’s fantasy it seems, well, maybe not the Texan part), who had a rocket scientist intellect, and before the Japanese model episode.
I’ve been here a month already this year, but still haven’t seen Yared, though we’ve spoken on the phone. He’d been doing poorly, which I was sorry to hear. Kidney stones, they reckon, said Yared, after he’d undergone multiple tests and daily ongoing pain for what seemed like forever. It feels that way when you’re catapulted over the fence to the not-as-healthy-as-you-used-to-be side.
I told Yared about an olive oil and lemon remedy for stones that had been vouchsafed by many for its immediate effectiveness, and he promised to try it. A week later I rang to see how he was doing. I’m great, I feel great, I’m pain free, he said. Even his voice sounded better. I was so happy. We chatted some more then promised each other we’d get together soon.
Three weeks slid by before my email invitation today. Yared, I write, I’m thinking a sundowner tonite, maybe at The Modern? and press ‘Send.’
By five o’clock, I haven’t heard back from him, so I close my computer and head to the Chart House for a wine and pupu instead.
It’s a lovely late afternoon setting and I’m happy with my chardonnay, Caesar salad and garlic chicken. The couple next to me – we end up talking – Josef (ahem, a hair stylist) and Tiffany have lived here for so long they’re pretty much locals. Tiff works at The Big Kahuna and Josef works part-time at Bobbi and Guy. We share Oysters Rockefeller, their order, and my garlic chicken, and fall into an easy camaraderie.
They exhort and cajole me to come with them to Hula’s Bar, Honolulu’s definitive and extremely popular gay and lesbian dance club, where Josef likes to hang out with other pooftas and doesn’t mind an extra fag hag in his entourage. I decline. I’m having too much pleasure with my own company these days.
But before they leave, I ask Josef what he would recommend I do with my hair. Nodding his head slowly, he says with that special accent only gays seem to possess: Actually, I really like it the way it is. It’s a multi-million dollar look.
Cripes, I think, I don’t do anything except dunk it in the ocean every day and let it sun dry. Glad that I don’t have to spend any of my precious dollars on hair makeovers, I thank him. And then add mischievously, Multi, huh? That’s more than a million, right? Uh-huh, he nods again, and he, Tiffany and I burst out laughing.
Later, I’m heading home, cutting through The Modern’s pool bar area, which is next to where I live at The Ilikai. There’s great live music happening, two girls singing – one on the guitar, the other on bongos – super talented!
Halfway across the deck, just as I’m about to turn the corner into Ilikai territory, for no discernible reason I turn around. And there’s Yared!
I retrace my steps towards him. He doesn’t see me until I’m just a few feet away. Then he quickly stands up, smiles, and says, Ah, Miss Australia. I shake his extended hand.
Hey, I go, did you get my message?
No, I’m here with some of my family who are visiting, he says.
I do a quick sweep and apprehend a good looking bunch, especially the guys.
What was the message? asks Yared.
To have a sundowner, at The Modern, I say, and laugh.
He laughs also, and says, Okay soon.
Yeah. Hey, listen, I don’t want to intrude, so talk later, k?
We say goodbye and as I walk away, I think, he didn’t get my message to have a sundowner at The Modern, and he’s having a sundowner at The Modern.
What the fuck! Synchronicity?