Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 27, 2022

Tuesday 2022

 What else is there to look at but blues skies, beautiful clouds, and green mountains veiled by misty rains?

I guess everyone grieves differently. This is my grief. My wife is upset because I'm not having a nervous breakdown or my eyes aren't puffy and red from hours of crying. I can't cry right now, and I don't have a reason; it's just not happening like it should. All I can do is sit at our son's grave and look at the bay and the Ko'olau mountains. The clouds look like white cotton candy, and the sky reminds me of one of those Pan Am commercials from the 70s' where the blue of the heavens was like one of those old anime cartoons. The misty rains make me think that the gods gathered the tears of their worshippers and made a blanket of them. Unfurling it and snapped the mist out of it so that human beings got the mistaken impression that it was soft rain when really it was grief. All my wife can do is cry, and I understand.

But for me, this is my process. A year later, we hardly talked to one another. We go through the motions with no real intent, like a hula dancer with no expression. We sleep, wake, eat, bathe, and go to work where we really live like its a real life. When we're home together, there's nothing, just empty motions. One day, I was headed into the office going along Kalaeloa boulevard when I and others on the road had to stop for the ʻEwa train ride. I let out a breath of mild frustration as the old train lumbered by, completely empty.

Watching the carts, looking at those seats, and remembering those times when Ian, Shirley, and I complained about how stiff the wooden chairs were and how it hurt your bottom made me chuckle out loud. We moved seats, and I guess I sat down too hard because the wood made a loud cracking sound. The seat split open, and Shirley off-handedly said my butt was so big that I broke the wood. Ian thought it was so funny that the juice from the Capri-sun he was drinking came out of his nose when he started laughing. I laughed too when I recalled that moment, but soon my laughter devolved into tears and hysterical crying. "Ian, I miss you so much," I heaved. "Daddy is so sorry I wasn't there that day; I tried. I did, but there was traffic..." I couldn't finish what I was going to say. I just sat there and cried until a long line of cars formed behind me, and someone finally came and knocked on the driver's side window. I went to my office off Malakole street and locked the door for the rest of the afternoon. When Shirley showed up later, she found me with eyes red and puffy from crying. 

"Happy now?" I asked her.

"Of course not," she said. She grabbed me in her arms, and we sat there for the rest of the time, holding on to one another, finally crying together.

No comments:

Post a Comment