Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 20, 2022

Odor 2022

Uber drivers usually are courteous or quirky.

Some are silent as they drive, while others are just plain weird. I recall having an Uber driver dressed like Michael Jackson, with the one glittery glove and everything. Otherwise, I find that they are entirely harmless and that, like all of us, they are just trying to earn a living. However, the one we got this morning that whisked us off to an eatery for breakfast had a particular kind of aroma to him that I hadn't smelled for years, and that was in 2002 while witnessing an exorcism at home in the back of Niu Valley. The people performing the ritual were all dressed in dark ceremonial robes with long overflowing hoods covering their faces. The possessed in question was an aged Japanese woman well past her dotage. If the demon who had a hold of her didn't kill her, her fragile state of health would. If not that, those idiots conducting the ritual, who kept beating her with bushels of ti-leafs, might beat both entities to the punch.

However, I digress. I'm missing the point. The robe-covered group masked their bodily odor with all-natural products. However, as best as they tried, that underlying stinging scent still lingered. Then it hit me; the uber driver was one of those people in the robes that day who unsuccessfully performed the exorcism. The old Japanese lady died that day; the whole thing was too much for her. A lawsuit followed, and the group was sued and summarily disbanded shortly after. We made eye contact as he looked at me from his rearview mirror. 

"Solemn strikes the chime on the hour of nein," I said.

"Notes of our departing teim," he replied and said nothing more. Then, without a word, he rudely dropped us off on the street fronting our location and not in the parking lot. We won't be asking for that driver again.

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