Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Feb 22, 2022

Who 2022

 Let me organize my thoughts so that I can clearly convey the matter of which I am about to transpose to paper, so to say.

It seems funny that I use the word organize because the situation from which this story derives was anything but organized. The dorm at the university of hawaii had a shared room or lobby or what have you, where we all could meet to socialize, do homework together, or decide on going back to one of our dorm rooms to get high or have sex, or both. On this specific night before in the late 1980s,' we were gathered in said space as a bit of excitement and intrigue permeated the small group. Word got out that my term paper was about the collective events of suicides on campus and if there was a connection with those events or if they were purely random. People wanted to help, and others wanted to share their own stories of seeing someone commit suicide first-hand or knowing a friend of a friend who did. It was all too overwhelming, and I thanked them for their help, but I needed to do the paper alone. Too many cooks in the kitchen, you know? "No," the one haole girl was clearly frustrated. "We're here to give you first-hand information!" 

"I appreciate that you personally knew people who took their own lives and that it was tragic," I tried to calm her and the group down. "If you would all just write it down and give it to me, then I could organize your stories accordingly."

"You don't get it, do you?" She shook her head and turned to everyone and said. "Let's go, guys, he'll get it once we leave, and then maybe he'll want our help."

All eight of them disappeared gradually, not all at once. As they did, I saw their forms displaying the various configurations in which they died. But, my god, they were the ones whose information I needed to complete my term paper, and I chased them away. Word didn't get around in the way I thought because I hadn't told anyone about my term paper, except my empty dorm room. Maybe it wasn't empty after all?

No comments:

Post a Comment