Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Apr 25, 2022

Galaxie 2022

"Thankfully, things haven't changed too much at St. Louis Drive-Inn.

The burgers and fries and the green river drink are still as delicious as when I first bought them. My first car during high school was a used Ford Galaxie. It was a great car, and I had many fun memories driving it around with my college friends, who would become ushers at my wedding. The Vietnam war separated us because of a conflict of interests; mainly, some of the guys were against the war, which hurt and angered some of us who went to fight. It got awkward at family gatherings and parties when we were all in the same room. I did the smart thing and stayed sober and made myself scarce so that when the fight broke out, I would be nowhere near ground zero. The funny thing is, I'd leave and head to St. Louis Drive-In, get the usual and then drive to Kaimana beach and sit there long after sunset and have my burger, fries, and green river drink. Eventually, the rest of the guys would drive up, and we wouldn't say anything. We'd just pile all of our fries together on one napkin, drown it in ketchup and simply commune together through food. That was always our go-to, no matter what was happening in our lives. As I tell you this short story, I'm well into my seventies, and my health is such that I can only eat cheeseburgers very sparingly. French fries? No problem. The green river drink is now green iced tea. Most of the guys from college are long gone to health problems and natural causes. I've been the least healthy until it was time to get fit in my fifties or die. Twenty-some-odd years later, here I am, and I've outlived them all. But thanks for keeping me company and letting me ramble on like this. It might seem awkward to a total stranger, but you've been very nice," he bowed slightly.

"It's what I do," I replied. "Well, there's no time like the present. Are you ready?"

"Yeah," he gave me the wrapper, and I placed it in the paper bag and threw it in the garbage bin.

"They'll find you here in the morning, but you'll be alright," I reassured him while leading him across the parking lot. "You can't drive anymore, so let's take this car." On the street was parked his old Ford Galaxie, but it was nice and shiny like when he first bought it off the Aloha Motors lot back in the day. "It's a nice way to go, right?"

"No," he corrected me. "It's the best way to go."

Credit: Connors Motorcar Company



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