Hired to wash dishes, the young man from California was determined to climb the culinary ladder and succeed on Maui. The arrival of electric dishwashers made him redundant but not before convincing the owner that he deserved a chance in the dining area. From his short stint as a bus boy, he graduated to waiter. There he stayed for many years, greedy for the fat tips from generous mainlanders. Along the way, he learned how to cook by befriending the chefs that worked at Mamma’s Fish House. The wealthy female diners tipped him well, at the table and after dessert. They wanted their Blue Lagoon experience. To thank them, he sent them pretty postcards from Paia.
Forty years later, he starts receiving letters from these diners, now widowed or divorced. They ask if he meant what he wrote on those postcards from Paia.
“Come see me if you ever find yourself single and available. I will always enjoy hearing from you.”
“It was fun serving you. Don’t forget your man on Maui. I will be waiting.”
“When you come back to Hawaii, I will have my own restaurant. I will be pleased to serve you as your private chef with all the trimmings.”
“Promise me that you will contact me if you are free to love and travel. You are the single most important event in my life. Don’t ever forget me. I will be right here waiting.”
As the handwritten letters flood into his private mailbox on the North Shore, he is both flattered and flabbergasted. He didn’t expect these women would remember him. While grateful for these early experiments in amorous pleasures which made him the man he is today, he is reluctant to keep his promises. The thought of seeing these older women, however attractive after their expensive plastic surgeries, is repulsive to put it mildly.
“Fake it till you make it” has been his motto to swing with the rich and famous. Now that he has “made it” he doesn’t need or want the fake that money brings.
After decades of pleasing women of all ages and ethnicities, he longs to settle down with someone much younger who blends seamlessly into the local population. He prefers the natural look, without make-up or botox, much like the nubile nymph he found on the beach the other day. From experience, he knows that the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach, for he is the closet chef.