Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Feb 8, 2022

Doula 2022

Colon cancer didn't make me cry with self-pity or make me mad because it came at an inopportune time.

It just made me very irritated, like a sibling who won't stop pointing their finger an inch away from your face, just to get a reaction out of you. At the moment, I know I'm not going to post anything on social media or make the rounds by telling a select number of people that I've got it, and depending upon my following up with treatment, I may or may not die. It's funny, though; you realize there's nothing you can do because now it's all riding on the roll of the dice. Hopefully, you don't come up with snake eyes. Such is life, I suppose. Another fucked up thing would be me doing a bunch of fucked up shit only for the doctor to come back and tell me there was a misdiagnosis. I didn't have colon cancer after all. I just needed to change the grade of my toilet paper so that it was less like sharkskin and more like the consistency of an angel's wings, if that's even a thing. "You're wiping your ass too hard," the doctor would scold me. "Are you trying to scoop up all the shit in one go?" I would not say anything because of all the experts who will crawl out of the woodwork imparting sage advice they received from the internet. So, where does that leave me now? Well, that would be a good thing if I live because I'll get some extra time on the merry-go-round. But if I don't, I suppose I'll just get ready to die? Until then, it might be feasible to just enjoy the ride until I'm out of gas. I imagine the transition will be like standing in line at some state office, filling out your paperwork, taking a number, and waiting until you get called. " 43? 43? 43? Number 43?" I'd look at all the other people sitting around me, and then it would hit me, "Fuck, they were right, you do die alone," my wife isn't here like she's always been. By my side through thick and thin. She was the one constant while I was alive, and now, it's just me trying to get through the line but to go where? That's the question.


It took a lot of red tape and a few moments of ambiguous legality, but I got my way. I had an open casket service where my casket, coffin, or whatever you want to call it, is filled with my favorite scented flowers and ferns. Once the services are over, I'm going to be a tree. So cool; good thing we bought that house and that large property in Nu'uanu when we did. Right now, it doesn't matter that a few people I never liked attend my services. It's not crucial in the overall scheme of things. The reasons for our fallout are so petty, and it was so fixable when I was alive. I'm just happy they're here. Look at my family, I know they're sad, but right now, they're so strong and so much more united than they were before. The grandkids are off talking or playing with their friends. Hey, it's my playlist piping over the speakers, and everyone is hanging out, talking, laughing, getting drunk, and getting high. Whoops, there goes my wife, bitching out the stoners for not showing any discretion. You go get 'um babes! This is nice, this atmosphere, this feeling. It's a moment in time when everything is so perfect that you want to cry. It's a moment in time that every person tries to hold on to or recapture at a later moment in their life when they think about perfection. It will be talked about but never repeated again because that moment of sublime beauty was created by the people in attendance, like the Seargent Pepper album. It's what I've always wanted, to have everyone I've ever loved and cared for to be in the same place, loving and caring for one another. Ironically, it took my death to make it happen. But that is the profound mystery of life, isn't it? Even in death, there is healing.

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