Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Oct 13, 2022

Pele 2022

I am reminded of when we happened to be in Hilo, and we visited someone who was said to have pictures and video footage of himself and the goddess Pele.

In the photos, they are supposed to sit together on a park bench, having a conversation. The video is the same scenario. We were told to meet this person at the first pavilion at McKenzie park. So we did exactly that, and when we saw him, we approached and introduced ourselves out of courtesy and respect, but he motioned for us to sit down.

"Never mind, never mind," he said as he waved for us to go closer. "I dunno how long these pictures and videos might stay on my phone, so come real quick before the thing deletes itself," We huddled around him as he held his phone up and showed us the pictures. It was himself sitting on the same bench in the same covered pavilion. The Hawaiian woman seated across the table from him was dark-skinned, with haunting eyes, shallow cheeks, and a strong jawline. Her lips were full, and her nose was straight and purposeful. At the edges of her black hair, there seemed to be a distortion of some kind, almost like a heat wave coming off the blacktop of an open road.

"Watch when you see the video, now!"

On the stream, it's himself having a random conversation about where he is from and who his family is. Then, finally, her turn comes to reply, except no voice exists. It's static each time she speaks, but my two companions and I heard it differently. I listened to the kind of static that came from holding your hand near the screen of your television set. My first friend heard static from a car radio, and my second friend listened to the squelching sound from a walkie-talkie when someone was trying to communicate from the other end.

 "Electromagnetic waves," I said. 

No one knew what I meant, so they turned their attention back to our newly found friend. We all agreed that the woman in the pictures and the video were captivating, but we couldn't figure out what was so unusual about it. "You guys stupid, yeah? Dats Pele! Dats da goddess Pele! I took pictures with her, and she was in my video! I think this is the first time.." He never got to finish; we thanked him for his time and left. On the way out of the park, we saw the same Hawaiian woman standing at the McKenzie Park sign in the pictures and videos. She waved at us and smiled and then approached our rent-a-car. I rolled the window down, and as she began to speak, only static came out of her mouth. At that moment, I recalled what I'd said earlier about electromagnetic waves. Except, this was not electromagnetic waves; it was pure electromagnetic energy. This woman was Pele.

When the static went away, we heard her voice. It was energy; her volume vacillated from deafening to a whisper. We were polarized, we couldn't move, and I'm sure our jaws had dropped into our laps. "E lokomaikaʻi ʻoukou I kēlā kanaka, ke ʻoluʻolu," she asked us to be kind to the man we had just spoken to. In the course of turning around and going back to the pavilion, I am sure we screamed the entire way.

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