With Halloween on the horizon, my co-worker Jenn Brown asked me, “Do you think the Iao Theater is haunted?”
“Absolutely not,” I scoffed, in a particularly “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts” mood.
She slung her hands on her hips and prodded, “What? I heard it is. Why don’t you think it’s haunted?”
“Because there’s no such thing as hauntings, Jenn,” I said, feeling certain to my core.
Jenn, in her Jenn way, accepted it as that and mumbled, “Yeah, but what if it is…” as she walked away.
On Saturday night’s opening of the Paia Tattoo Parlor’s new show “Art That Will HAUNT YOU,” I chatted with my friend Tony from Wailuku Coffee Company and Ghalib El-Khalidi (profiled in this week’s cover story by Sara Tekula). Ghalib mentioned he’d worked at the coffee shop back when it was Cafe Marc Aurel, and Tony inquired if Ghalib thought the locale was haunted (citing a few “incidents”).
Ghalib proceeded to eloquently explain in his crisp tone (a quote that, due to a few Bikini Blonds from the parlor’s cooler, will have to be summarized) that while he didn’t disbelieve the idea of hauntings, he’d never in his life experienced anything that would justify its truth.
I’m a hoarder. I’d like to think I’m a somewhat-organized hoarder, but a hoarder nonetheless. Gosh! I might really be able to use that mangled piece of plastic packaging someday, for that Art of Trash submission I’ve always thought about but have never done. Here! Let me put it in a bag with other mangled pieces of plastic and ensure that my family and friends think I’m crazy and devalue all other possessions in the eyes of my future descendants. What a plan!
Recently, I came across a year’s worth of used dryer sheets. Ayear’s worth. It was in a mesh bag in a suitcase—which I can pass off as something of a re-purposed deodorizer, though I know in truth they were meant for wrapping lollipops like ghosts for Halloween (which, as I write this, I recognize is rather gross). I haven’t much added to the bunch recently, but simply seeing my finely hoarded collection flipped the crazy switch on, and my brain bounced around ideas of what to do with them (heaven forbid throw them away) and how many more I’d need to complete a so-called masterpiece.
Fortunately, doing laundry at my parents’ house is great. Dad stocks up with the good stuff like Tide and OxyClean, and not the dollar-store dryer sheets I usually go for. My spine tingled with endless crafting possibilities.
While waiting one recent night for my comforter to tumble dry, true to my self-sabotage form, I glued myself to A&E TV for a marathon of Paranormal State. The show follows a crew of unattractive spoiled brats lead by Ryan Buell, who are wasting their precious time at Penn State by getting a half-hour television show to fund cross-country exploits of their Paranormal Research Society. From “researchers” to subjects, the show is impossibly annoying—wrought with indiscernible green-tone night shots and bloodless, producer-prodded shouts of “In the name Jesus Christ, I command you to leave, evil demon!”—but the next best thing on was Ace of Cakes, and I’d already seen that episode.
For all my bitching, Buell must be doing something right, because by the end of the first episode I was too chicken to retrieve my laundry. I microwaved another egg roll and mulled over the prospects of having to make my way to the dryer housed under the porch. If I made it outside, I’d have two options: If I turned right, I’d have to navigate turd mines from my brother’s pitt/boxer, followed by a stairwell that gets swarmed by garden snails as the dew starts to creep in with the dark. If I turned left I’d have to make one deft leap over six stairs, a feat that has since small kid times inspired a deep fear of the Prune Monster, who emerged in a toddlerdom nightmare and who forever more I was certain would reach out from under the stairs and wrap his limu-like fingers around my ankle, shouting “Prunes! Give me prunes!” (No! I like prunes. Get your own.)
In the process of thinking it over, I fell asleep. When I woke up, Hoarders, of all shows, was on. I was still too much of wimp to go outside, so I slept the rest of the night cowering under my brother’s crocheted baby blanket, the best thing I could find to tide me ’til morning. But I A&E. I was did dump that bag of old dryer sheets before heading to bed. Because if I’ve got anything to really fear, it’s that.
Anu Yagi welcomes comments, and will be hanging out at mauifeed.com/kulakid. You can also follow her on Twitter at @anuheayagi