In which Jason Reece
asks, “Do you wanna see a dead body?”

By Jason Reece


Yeah, Hawaii
doesn’t seem to like the place to have a seedy underbelly. It’s a paradise for
fuck’s sake. Big Island tropical fever madness strikes
deep in the back wood boonies. Meth heads growing weed, burned out hippies
living the dream gone wrong and pissed off Hawaiians mad at the “fucking
Ha’ole’s “ who stole their land. The tourist brochures never covered that part.
I lived in a half-built house with no electricity, no running water, out in the
middle of a rain forest, far from the main city of Hilo. This was a drenched
and beautiful place, but we were bored poor fuckers living off the land, off
the grid, looking for something more.


At my friend Ani’s house getting ready to go to some shitty
high school dance. Heavy metal blasting out of the speakers – Judas Priest’s “Hell
Bent for Leather” was our jam. There’s nothing like smoking some strong-ass bud
straight from your backyard garden and killing a bottle of some shit whiskey
before hitting the high school function. There was nothing to do but this.


It was time to walk a few blocks to our friend’s house, whose
parents would drive our license-less asses to the dance. We needed to get some
air and composure to face them, so the walk – we thought – would do use some
good. It was drizzling and very quiet as we hit the street. Several loud pops
destroyed the eerie silence. We thought that was strange, but continued on as
if it was nothing. As we turned on to a more populated block, we could see a
man on the ground. His head was blown off; his brains were all over the street.
People started coming out of their houses to see what the commotion was as
police sirens blared in the distance. We were stunned to see a real murder, a violent
death that happened within blocks of our homes and our slow-motion Hawaiian


We started laughing, and kept laughing, as we ran to our
friend’s house. It was the only emotion that I could express because it was so
fucking crazy and real. I had never seen a dead person; this was my first and
it was a fucked up as it gets. I found out later that it was a dispute over a
drug deal. They caught the murderer immediately and he was high as shit on meth.
We headed to the dance to tell the all our friends. Curiosity ensued as all of
our friends wanted to see the murder scene. They wanted to see where it all


We left the dance at around 10
pm. We decided to meet at Ani’s place because his folks didn’t give
him a curfew, or didn’t really care. Some of us had to sneak out. A group of
five trudged through some cold rain sipping on Old Crow whiskey. There were no
street lights and the dark wet added to the creepiness of the adventure. The
flashlights guided us to 4th and Hamakua St.
where the deed was done. 


We could see the chalk lines fading in the rain. The outline
of the unlucky soul. We then saw his fucking brains still on the grass and
pavement! What the fuck? The police just let that shit slide. They hardly
cleaned the scene up. There were skull fragments everywhere, and a bunch of [us]
giddy children jabbering away about how fucking weird it was. This dude was
there, alive, hours ago – and now his head was blown the fuck off. Death became
very real to me that night.


We ran away again, howling like dogs down the dark, rain-soaked
road, trying to kid ourselves that death was a joke and that we were never
going to die. It seemed all too wrong for a kid to see this, but there it was.
It could happen anywhere, I guess.


Aloha ‘Oe, dead guy. Aloha ‘Oe.



…And You Will Know Us
By the Trail of Dead’s new album
Tao of the Dead is out now on Superball/Century Media Records.








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