XXV. THE DAY AFTER
THE NIGHT AFTER
And Kris's Stolen Taxi-Cab
(Part Twenty-Five; Part One is HERE.)
Kris's cab was gone. Holly was gone. His keys were gone. The little whore, his brand new bride, had stolen his car.
Maybe she thought she had a right to it, as his wife, Kris thought. Maybe she was out picking up fares in it right now. Or tricks. Did she even know how to drive? Had she gone downtown to score drugs? Had she sold the cab in Chinatown, or traded it for a few rocks of crack cocaine? Was she back to her old life already? Where the f**k was she?
Enraged and panic-stricken, Kris hurried down Kalakaua Avenue. He walked along the beach side until he came to the Moana Surfrider, and crossed the street. He walked down Kaiulani Street to Kuhio Avenue and turned into the main bazaar, looking for someone, anyone he knew. There were just the usual international tourists, Mainland gangsters and local scum crowded the sidewalks, hustling and being hustled. Corrupt cops chatted with transplanted Seattle pimps like old friends. Teenage prostitutes from San Diego and Vegas, Chicago and Memphis grabbed at Japanese men right in front of their wives and children, trying to drag them into conveniently-located f**k-pads, right off the strip. Gigantic Samoan drag-queens, 6'6" 300lb. mahu's in muu-muu's, peddled pakalolo and "pu**y-on-a-stick" to horny soldiers and sailors on leave and liberty. "Local boys" fresh off the boat followed solo drunks into alleys and beat them senseless for the few dollars in their wallets, and the sport. A world-class destination, it was, with plenty of "aloha."
Kris walked frantically from one end of Waikiki to the other, looking for Holly, or his cab, or somebody he knew, anybody. He saw no one, nothing. In twenty minutes, he was out of Waikiki. He stopped at the Rocky Horror Cafe, a lame theme restaurant chain, near the new Convention Center that was already closed for repairs. The restaurant staff were dressed as characters from the movie. Mostly Meat Loaf, which was their signature dish. There were usually cabs parked there. There might be somebody he knew.
Kris spotted his friend Tad, sitting in his taxi, an old BMW sedan. He went up to him and asked if Tad had seen his cab around.
"Your cab?" Tad asked, surprised. "Why, did you lose it? Been drinking again?"
"No. Yeah. It's missing," Kris answered.
"Where'd it go missing?" Tad sniffed at Kris's breath. It wasn't good, but he wasn't drunk.
"My house. Some girl took it, I think." Kris looked glum.
"You think? Some girl? You know this girl?" Tad pressed his examination.
"Yeah, I married her last night. This morning. Well, not really, it was just a lion, in the zoo, and, it's complicated. Can you help me find it?"
"Hunh. OK. I guess. You want me to call it in?"
"Just ask the dispatcher if my cab is on the road."
"OK. You want to call the cops, Kris?"
"No, Tad. Just see if anybody has seen my car. Say you have an urgent personal message for me."
"Affirmative. Roger Wilco. Ten-four," Tad laughed
"Just shut up and do it, wouldjya? Gimme a break! I'm in trouble here."
Tad put the call in. Kris stalked around the Cafe parking lot, fretting. If she messed up his cab. Or sold it. If he lost those strong-boxes, or somebody opened them. SH*T!!! Tad called him over. "He said he'd put it out, to call him if anybody sees your cab."
"OK, thanks. You got a cell-phone?"
Tad gave him the number. A cab cruised by on Kalakaua that looked like Kris's. "Sh*t, follow that cab, Tad," Kris ordered, jumping in the front seat of the BMW.
"I've been on the line here for an hour!" Tad protested.
"I'll PAY you, OK? Just follow. Here's twenty to start." By the time Tad got out on the street, the light had changed. Kris thought he had seen his cab turn left on Kapiolani Boulevard and head downtown. He told Tad to go that way, when the light changed. Tad turned left and headed towards Keeaumoku Street, past all the strip joints, tattoo shops, peep shows, massage parlors and Korean hostess-bars of the elegant shopping district. No sign of his cab. No sign of Holly.
"Where to now?" Tad asked.
"I hate that place. Nothing but whores and crack-heads. Why would your new bride go there?"
"Maybe she wants to get me a fresh hand-made lei," Kris smirked.
"HAH! Yeah. A lei! Hah. OK. But I ain't stopping down there. And no trouble."
"No trouble. Just go."
They took Ala Moana to Aloha Tower, and turned up Bethel Street, up to Beretania, and back down Nuuanu to Nimitz, at Kris's direction. Then up Smith Street to the spot where Kris had first seen Holly, laying in the middle of the road. She wasn't there. Neither was his cab. There was another hooker standing in a doorway. When Tad slowed down, she came sidling over. "You want a date?" She was maybe five years older than Holly's 18, but she looked 40.
"Um, no. But I'll pay for some information. $20 bucks if you can tell me where Holly is right now." Kris offered, digging in his rapidly emptying pocket.
"Oh, she ovah by da pahk. Twenny bucks, please," the ho demanded sweetly.
"Yeah, no. I'm serious. I need your help."
"No kala, no kokua," she hawked and spit.
"No info, no dough. Do you know Holly or no?"
"Holly who? Dat haole ho? I never see her, tonight." She was getting tired of Kris, and looked up and down the street for a paying customer.
"If you see her, tell her Kris is looking for her."
"Eh, wot I looks like, her maddah?"
"Few more months, maybe," Kris joked.
"Eh, no get smart! I don't owe you no favors!" she said indignantly.
"Here. Here's ten bucks. If she calls me, you get another ten," Kris said, peeling off a ten from his miniscule bankroll.
"How I know dat?"
"Give me your card, Ted. Here, tell her call this number. If you see her, you call, if she calls me, you get the other $10."
"OK, OK, OK. Eh, get one cigarette?" she wheedled.
"Sorry, I don't smoke. Tad?"
"Just cigars," Tad said, pulling the pack of cheap stinkers from his shirt pocket.
"I like one cigah, den. Eh, mahalos. You like one date?" She smiled a big crooked toothless smile.
"Uh, not tonight, thanks. Gotta work," Tad demurred.
"OK, den, nex' time. I give you da kamaina rate, cuz you so nice, dats why. Not you, tho: Full price," she said to Kris, turning on her heel and stalking off.
"Great. She'll be a big help." Tad pulled away from the curb. "Where to now?"
"Cruise by Aala Park, then go up to Kukui Street."
"So, you married a whore? Hunh. Me too. Only I didn't know it at the time. At least yours is honest."
"Except she stole my cab."
They cruised the park, a refuge for homeless drug addicts, and Kukui Street, where transsexual and transvestite prostitutes hustled tricks right in front of funeral parlors.
"Can't say you weren't warned about the health risks. Couldn't make it any plainer if they hung poison signs on them. Oh, sorry. No offense."
"None taken, Tad."
There was no sign of Holly.
[ PART TWENTY-SIX TOMORROW copyright 2008 Cosa Nostradamus.]
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