Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Jul 23, 2016

99 Nights 'til Halloween, "Priorities"

I hate shopping. Maybe it’s a man thing or maybe it’s a me thing but I hate shopping. My bachelor days would have me walk into the massive super store where I would get the items that I needed then I would pay for them and leave. No such luck now that I’m married. My wife would tarry in the aisles of the establishment for the better part of the day if she could but with myself in tow she is as patient as she can be. Today, I am blissfully following her with the shopping wagon as she guides me with simple commands such as, ‘turn here,’ or ‘wait a minute, stop’. “Go back,” I just follow, I don’t ask questions. I don’t really pay attention to who is around me either unless I run into someone I know or if I run into someone who knows me that I don’t know that knows me. You see how that goes? That’s how my life works when I’m out in the world. But today it’s just my wife and myself.

Even at one in the morning as I am being guided by my wife and asked to carry something heavy from a higher shelf I am suddenly struck by something very strange. The smell of pickled pigs feet. I look around me and I see that we’re in the latter part of the sporting goods section just near the restrooms. I inhale deeply and there it is; most certainly it is the smell of pickled pigs feet. In the next second I’m covered with chicken skin (goose bumps) and I am confused beyond reason.

“You smell it too?” my wife asks.

“And chicken skin too,” I tell her. We both pause.

“Anyway,” I say, “can I get a bag of pretzels?”

“I guess,” she tells me and we head off.  As we’re heading past the automotive section, I am hit with a sudden realization that I know where I’ve had the experience of smelling pickled pigs feet before. Nineteen years ago, I was part of a small group of teachers that was part of a back-of-the-house tour at the Bishop Museum where the guide took us very briefly to the bones collection department. The guide told us that if we smell something sour, like pickled pigs feet, it’s the bones but it’s okay. Then I remember that just on the other side of that restroom is the area where those bones were found when this store was under construction before it became the shopping icon location that it is today. While this epiphany is playing through my mind and body I then notice the aroma that happens right before it starts to rain, but in the middle of a super store?

From the next few aisles I see people running into the main aisle. Items on the shelf are falling off from the shelving on their own. Fans, locks, beach chairs, door knobs, they’re all over the place. Everyone is dumbfounded and running for the door. Except, that is, for myself and my wife however. We don’t see this as a reason to run pell-mell all over the store with fear. Rather, we leave the hysteria to the uninitiated because we realize that there are no lines at the cash register and we head straight to the front of the store.


99 Nights ‘til Halloween!

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