Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

May 17, 2022

Massively 2022

Days are numbered in the way that time is numbered.

We think we have all the time to live those days and pass the time, but we don't. There is only one turn in this present existence because what we do here determines what will happen in the next reality or lifetime. If you haven't already figured it out, it's my time that's short. I'm long past the month I was given to live; yes, my thirty days have expired. I'm literally living on borrowed time. I've paid back everyone who has ever lent me money, big or small. I've apologized to anyone I've ever wronged, purposefully or not. Some were accepted well, while others were utterly forgotten that it ever happened. Yet, some never forgot and would either not accept my apology or refuse to open their doors to see me. That's fine; it shows how I should have been more thoughtful, less selfish, and impulsive. I should have considered the whole circumstance rather than be worried about how everything affected me. Once that entire business was taken care of, I made a point to thank everyone in my life for being there, loving me, and for their kind words, unseen efforts, and hard work. The most complicated people to thank were my parents. Kneeling in front of their headstones to say this should not have been difficult because they were long gone. However, it was not as if they were right in front of me.  

"Mom, Dad, thank you for everything. I should have been a better son," that's all I could manage. I couldn't say any more than I did. I broke down and cried like a baby. It's so ironic; this whole speech is about the value of time, and yet, I never valued the time I had with my parents because I thought they would always be there. Finally, I lifted myself up from the physical and emotional mire I'd sunken into and walked back to my car. I hadn't seen the groundskeeper cleaning up the headstones from a pile of old flowers and lei that were now brown, dried, and wilted.

"No be sad," he said. "I mean, good to be sad, but no be sad too long. Bum-bye going make your body sick, and then your mind going come all huikau, and haʻalulu,"

I just shook my head and smiled, "Mahalo, uncle."

"No, for real," he insisted. "Right now is the time for you to live; you live now, live good, and be happy. Thatʻs how you thank them."

"Thatʻs funny considering I havenʻt got long to live," I replied.

"Well, how long is that? How long exactly?" The groundskeeper inquired.

"Thirty days, the doctor said, but itʻs fifteen days past that," I replied.

"Thatʻs good; whatever days you get left, live those days, not because they might be your last but because you can!" He was excited now and smiling. "Stop living like you are already dead; too many people do that already, and they not dying like you."

That was a year ago today and Iʻm alive, and still making the most out of every second. Itʻs a year later, and Iʻm thankful to be able to share this story with you.


17A Productions Presents

Lopaka Kapanui at Hawaii Theatre

A storytelling concert at the historic Hawaii Theatre. This master storyteller is one of Hawaii’s most popular teller of tales and has been in the business of scaring people for more than 20 years. Lopaka is terrifically skilled at provoking that sudden chill going down one’s back or causing the small hairs on your arms to stand up. Chicken skin is what we call it in Hawai‘i. Others might refer to it as chills or goosebumps. Sharing real accounts of Hawaii’s supernatural culture, Lopaka often leaves audience members questioning the darkness on their drive home and anxiously leaving the light on at bedtime.


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