Friday, November 17, 2006


Having skipped breakfast, I had a hankering for a Hawaiian plate lunch--the genuine article---two scoops of rice, macaroni salad, and animal flesh swimming in sodium. I hoofed up to the L&L on Kearny. The d├ęcor was red and yellow---the colors of Roosevelt, my high school’s rival.

I ordered the mahimahi special. The free soda sealed the deal.

Three students were sitting on the nearby barstools, their kanaka accent revealing their origin. They were talking about roommate and money problems, the plaint of students everywhere. The skinny one said that he went to McKinley. “My dad went to McKinley before the war,” I said. The kid was kind enough not to ask which war.

They were clearly enjoying themselves. The bright lights of San Francisco are irresistible to wide-eyed kids from the Islands, so irresistible that some of us never leave. © 2006 Stephen Yuen

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