2.20.2012

Paperweight

Male / 47 /Filipino-Japanese
Location: Big Island/ Oahu, Hawaii

Over 20 years ago, four of us went to the Big Island for a two week melee of fishing, camping and just having a good old time before going back to school.

We landed in Hilo in the early morning hours, had breakfast at Mcdonald's and picked up our Beach Boy Camper which was a Toyota truck with a over-sized camper mounted to the back. Our trip consisted of stopping and camping at as much sites as we could, playing tourist in a foreign land that we'd never been before. We headed to Kalapana Black Sand Beach where we camped out for some days and then we headed for Kilauea via the Chain of Crater Road. We stopped up at Volcano House to admire the sights and then proceeded to the many lava tubes and craters that make up Kilauea.

Well we stopped at this one spot along the crater and had lunch and beer. We were, I guess, fortunate to have along with us a University of Hawaii Hawaiiana major with us (I won't mention his name). My friend Paul and I decided to get a closer look at the inside of the crater and noticed the a'a lava and the pahoehoe lava littered around the crater. I noticed this one pahoehoe lava rock that would look cool on my desk at home as a paperweight. My friend Paul had the same idea. Before this trip my dad, who was a wise old man, told me not to bring back any rock from the volcano or anywhere; in fact he threatened me not to take any thing at all. So Paul and I talked amongst ourselves and decided to ask our UH major about his opinion on taking the volcano souvenirs. Our Hawaiiana major tells us that if we were sincere about it we should ask Madame Pele if we could have the rocks. So like naive fools, we stood there at the edge of the the crater and yelled out if we could have the rocks. There was no answer from Madame Pele. we took that as a "yes." We packed up our precious cargo and left for the great frontier. Through the remainder of our trip, it was nothing but choke fish to eat, starry nights and sunny skies and there basically couldn't have been a more awesome vacation.

We got home to Honolulu, everyone went on their merry way. High school started up for fall season and life went on. About six months since our trip to the Big Island, Paul's and my household experienced an all too weird change.

I got a call one day from Paul. He told me that while he was working at the Gibson Dept. Store in Mapunapuna one night, he finished his grocery job and went to his car. When he got to where his car is usually parked he noticed it was missing, stolen as what HPD later explains. Paul never found his car but later it was found in Waianae. Right after his car got stolen, my house got burglarized and our second car got stolen too because they got a hold of our extra keys. We never linked what happened to Paul and my dad's car and our house. Maybe it was all coincidental.

Another time, I was cruising at home one afternoon when my parents burst through the door arguing about missing money. I asked my mom what happened. She explained that they withdrew $600 dollars from the bank and placed the envelope of money in my moms bag. She went on to say that while they were driving home, she opened the handbag to check on the money and found it missing. They scoured the parking lot right after and even checked with the teller if she had seen the envelope of money. No money was ever found.

One day my mom was cleaning the house and she came across the rock in my room. She called for my dad and my dad hit the roof. He blamed all the misfortune on the rock in my room and he mentioned the same for Paul's car getting stolen. All my dad wanted to do was to get rid of the rock even though it meant me swimming back to the Big Island. Things got weirder. One day I noticed that there was like some kind of object in me eyes. It first felt like there was dust or dirt in my eye but as weeks went by, it felt like there was a piece of rock inside. I would go through bottles of eye wash but to my dismay it still felt the same. I finally went to an eye doctor and after the test he said my vision was 20/20. I still complained about the sensation in my eye, so the doctor gave me some extra strength eye wash and sent me home. My vision got worse over time. I just lived with the discomfort. As for Paul, I hadn't heard anything about any more problems. By this time my mom and dad made plans to fly us all up the Big Island for some vacation and to return the rock. My dad booked our flight for one weekend, and he told me to call Paul and bring his rock because my dad wanted all rocks off this island and the bachi to end.

It was now the Thursday before our trip. Paul brought his rock and I placed both rocks in a shoebox and waited for our big trip. We flew out on Aloha Airlines and made it safely on the Big Island. We grabbed our bag and my dad and I went to grab our rental car. As we were leaving, my mom who was watching the bags called out hysterically for us to come. She had this mouth open, bug-eyed look on her face. My dad asked her what the yelling was all about. So she stuck her hand in the bag and showed us the $600.00 that was missing. It was still in the envelope that the teller gave them. My dad had his doubts. He told her she didn't look good in her bag before she left the bank the first time and that it was probably in one of the pockets. But my mom told him that the bag she had was totally different from the one she had that day at the bank. Coincidental?

We packed up our rental car and arrived at the Hukilau Hotel in Hilo. I was too tired to go anywhere so I sat on the lanai while my parents got a bite to eat. It was a nice cool night, and the stars and the full moon were out. Our room overlooked a canal right across the street, and I stared at the waters and noticed the reflection of the stars and the full moon. Then I realized that my vision was cleared up and I could see clearly. I told my mom that I could see better again. She never said anything back.

Early the next day we headed up to Kilauea Crater and my dad asked me where we got the rocks. I couldn't remember anything, so we decided to find a nice spot to put the rocks and leave an offering of laulau and a bottle of beer. Maybe Pele would like a quick lunch and a beer. I don't know why it was a laulau and beer combo. I then stood by the rim of the crater and apologized for taking the rocks, sincerely. As we were standing around and admiring the scenery, a park ranger showed up to check on us. My dad told him what I did and what had happened. The pleasant Japanese ranger chuckled and then told us that we weren't the only ones that had problems. He went to tell us that his department has to go down to the post office at the airport once a month to empty out one of the many carts designated for the park service and bring the load of rocks and other items up the volcano to deposit them back inside the park area. Each package has it's own reason and story, but everyone just wants to return the rocks to there rightful home. The stories are the same: bad luck had come to them.

Since we returned the rocks to their rightful home there have been  no other strange things.Well, we hope.

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