Shawn and Shauntelle showed up in comical drag at the Kauai Pride Picnic at Queen Surf Beach,
one in a hula skirt and coconut bra, the other tucked into short shorts and squeezed into a padded
bustier. Diane and I met them the day before as Yin and Yang, what they jokingly called
themselves when we told them we saw them meditating on a bench when we boarded the
catamaran for an island snorkeling tour.
We invited them to meet us later that day after the picnic at our hotel’s beach bar. There we
lounged in the hot tub waiting for them; and as the sun began to set and tiki lights were lit, they
arrived. We wrapped up in hotel robes and moved to the bar as they sashayed in unapologetic
and simultaneously chanting “fashionably late.” And with new styles: Shauntelle had shaved his
head and was wearing lensless Oliver Peoples frames looking rather conservative. Shawn, in
direct contrast, had bleached his comb back and sported a small earlet screw in his lobe that we
hadn’t noticed earlier.
As I was thinking about ordering a drink and commented that at a pricey Luau the other day our
Mai Tais tasted more like Kool-Aid, a young man slurred, clearly having been served one too
many: “Not these Mais.”
Then he spied our friends, moved closer to us, unabashedly taken with them. They introduced
themselves to him as Rudy and Paul.
Diane looked at me and said, calling me by my childhood nickname, “Didi, no eye-rolling; you
should be getting used to being entertained by another of their identity show acts.”
That’s when the young man pointed to the white beach cabana draped in plumeria flowers and
said in a kind of tight-lipped way—his hand partially covering his mouth and peeking over his
shoulder—that he had been married that morning with friends and family in from the Mainland.
We tried not to pay much attention to him, but he did to our two new friends who he overheard
making plans to meet up with others for a karaoke night at a local tavern.
That’s when the young man really got enthralled, then pleaded: “Can I come? I love to sing!
Please, take me with you.”
And that’s when a large stern faced woman appeared, instructing the bartender not to place any
more of the man’s bar charges on her room tab. Storming off, she ordered him to get back to the
suite and to come to bed.
“The woman I married,” he mumbled, repeating the word married in a stammering whisper to
himself over and over again.
Rudy leaned into Paul with a smirk and said: “This ones name is Trouble. Let’s go.”
The groom was now in tears, and the bride was back holding him in her arms as he cried out: “I
want to go with the boys. I want to sing.”
She held a tight grip on him, shook him, then said with self-assurance: “Everything’s going to be
all right. You don’t need them or anyone else anymore. You’ve got me, babe.”

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