Kory K

I had been thinking for some time about writing brief profiles of the people who are important in my life, so since Kory took the leap first and wrote about me, I'll start with him. My version is going to be a little different than his very kind one, although I don't disagree with anything he wrote and was especially touched by the reported exchange between him and that wonderful man, Captain John.

I've never taken the net.celeb game very seriously. I've never taken any celeb game seriously. My online life began as Panther the Wizard of MUD2, perhaps the closest I came to any really deserved "celebrity". But I also participated a lot in local BBS's in England and resumed the habit when I came to Hawai'i, being very active on Muskrat's Den, the Town Crier, and Country Cupboard, especially. The move to the global stage of Usenet was a natural transition.

I think the Chihuahua was the first online person to seek me out at the Aloha Tower Marketplace and we spent quite a few lunch hours over a jug of brew, talking about online life. Kory K was the second "stalker" and, as he reports, he arrived unannounced and unexpected. I liked him immediately. He had the added advantage of being a Hilo boy.

Kory is one of the most Jekyll and Hyde characters I know. He can be the sweetest guy on earth or he can be a total jerk, and you can never be sure which side of him you'll encounter, there's no rhyme nor reason to it that I've discovered. But then, like most local Asians I know, he keeps what is going on inside him very much to himself. For example, not until he wrote about it on his web site did I have any idea how much he was affected by his recent romantic interlude, even though I had spent a lot of time with him since the break-up. So the switch between Jekyll and Hyde no doubt has reasons which no one but Kory himself understands. I don't doubt for a moment that he is aware of it, he's too intelligent not to see the wolf in the mirror when it's there.

I'm a terrible tease, it just comes natural. So early on I began to tease Kory about jumping into bed with him. At the fateful Second Annual Picnic, I ignored everyone at first, went straight to Kory and hugged him. No pun intended with "straight", it was a "straight" hug. One of the things I so love about Hawai'i is how men hug each other without seeing it as a threat to their manhood or whatever other junk lurks in the minds of some mainland men to whom it would be unthinkable.

Later I got an email from Kory telling me not to even think about getting his body and to knock it off before he beat me up. At about the same time, he warned me against making a move on Harold Kama, not knowing I'd already had that out with Harold, making it clear that cute as he is, I wasn't even thinking of trying to seduce him. I love him, I love his music, but I don't want to end up in bed with him. The fuss from Kory came on the heels of a similar reaction from John Hong, another local Asian who very mistakenly got the idea that I was after him. I told Kory the same thing I told John. If I want to have sex with someone, I don't mess around, I just ask. I can live with a "no". Despite my pleasure at watching and being in the company of attractive young men, there have been very few I really wanted to have sex with. Right now there's only one, but that's another tale.

Once the air was cleared of that static, the friendship with Kory grew, mostly on a drinking-buddy basis. Despite our extremely dissimilar backgrounds, Kory and I share a lot of common interests. We have many of the same tastes in music, even if he is a more severe critic. Perhaps most peculiar, we share the same taste in women although our ultimate interest may differ. I am sure Kory wouldn't disagree when I say that among our favorite women are the beautiful, charming and talented Yvette (whose photograph you can see on his web page and whose wonderful recording you may eventually be lucky enough to hear) and the delightful Amie, currently bartender at Pier Bar. We followed Amie around for awhile, first at Nick's Fishmarket when Harold Kama was singing there, and to Pier Bar. We even stopped up to that strange place ontop the Ala Moana Hotel during her brief gig there. Those were really good times at Nick's, among my favorite memories of life in Hawai'i. Then Kory embarked on his career as THE Resident Bar Rat at Hot Lava Cafe and I rarely get to see him anywhere else. I can understand that, it's easy and comfortable to settle into a place where the staff treats you well and you feel "at home".

Eventually Kory invited me to his house. For a stranger in a strange land, that's the ultimate compliment. I got a little drunk and a little rowdy when he put on the videotape of Gabby Pahinui I'd never seen before, but at least I didn't spill anything or burn holes in the carpet.

When I decided to embark on this perhaps-crazy life of an urban nomad, Kory was one of the few people who didn't scold and preach, one of the few to come up with some really helpful "gifts", like a place to stash extra shirts and stuff.

He has endeared himself to me, he has aggravated me, even once in awhile has gotten me really mad. But all in all, he's one of the best friends I have and one of the men in this world I most love.

I wish he'd stop being so lazy and do more with the obvious intelligence he has and the education he has gotten, but then who am I to lecture on that subject, or on the subject of being foolishly in love?

Me ke aloha pumehana, Kory K.


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