The Chronicles of Enasni by Dr. S | Crabs at the Redlight Again
source: Crepuscular Old Man
Salvador Dali · 1917-1918
I had been in Enasni for about 6 months and had settled in to the extent that was possible in such a place. The local 15 bed hospital kept me busy as I was on call for emergencies every third night and worked in the local medical center throughout the day. The senior doctor who showed me around, and sort of acted as my mentor, was a nice guy but very reserved and a fundamentalist Chrisitian. I, on the other hand, was anything but. This created an unspoken but present tension.
I was living in a small apartment about 2 minutes from the hospital and a short walk to the local tavern. In 6 months I had experienced more real-time emergencies than most of my colleagues would see in 6 years. Enasni was a fishing town on the Atlantic coast that produced two things: 1) Lots of freshly caught fish from their trawler fleet processed in the local fishplant and 2) Insanity. Various types and forms with myriad manifestations, but many of those ended up in my ER.
I had been called in to Emergency to see a gentleman who had suffered a deep laceration to the scalp. 'Fairly straight forward' I had thought as I walked in the emerg room to see him. He was a 40 odd year old man who had been at a local dance that evening. "Tell me what happened to your noggin?'" I asked. "Well, Doc, I was at the dance with me buddy and he was kind of out of sorts you know. His woman had not loved him for a while and he was feelin bad so I guess he kind of took it out on me" I had put on a pair of latex surgical gloves and was examining the wound as he told me the story. There was a 6 inch laceration from the posterior cranium extending to his hairline at the front. The wound had gaped open about 2 inches and I ran my index finger down the wound feeling his fully exposed skull front to back. As I anesthetized the wound with Xylocaine and began my repair with heavy 3-0 Nylon mattress sutures we continued to talk. " So what happened?" I asked. " Well we were sitting outside and having a drink of Annie Bonnie when my buddy says 'maybe you been fuckin my woman?' I says ' no my son' but he grabs his ax from the back of his truck right quick, and makes a full swing. I jump out of the way and run for my ax in my truck. He is havin trouble getting it out of the tailgate it got stuck in. I says 'George settle down for fuck sake'. He makes another overhead swing but I block most of it with my ax. Some of the ax found my head but most of the steam was blocked with mine."
I had stopped suturing and was looking at him with awe. He was not in the least upset, outraged or anxious. His best friend had come very close to burying his ax deep in his cranium and it was as if they had had a minor difference. "Will the police be needing a report from me?" I asked. He looked baffled nd : "Police , what for Doc?" I was starting to adjust to the local culture but this shocked me. " Well, he assaulted you causing a serious wound and if you were not quite as quick, you would be in a plastic bag heading off to the morgue. I believe they call that attempted murder." He smiled at me and said "George is my best friend, and like I said Doc he was having woman problems."
I finished the suture job and was heading home thinking about what had just unfolded at the hospital. If, in Enasni, it was acceptable for your best friend to try to murder you with an ax, I would be damn careful not to make any enemies.
Enasni had one traffic light in the very center of town. It was bordered by the local bank, post office, restaurant and a museum. As I pulled up, the light had just turned red. I had discovered that this light took forever to turn. Depending on the fullness of the moon, time of day, or God knows what, the damn thing could stay red for minutes. As I rolled to a stop off to my left I noticed a gentleman starting to cross the walk in front to of me. He seemed to be focused on his crotch area, walking with head down and right hand pushed down the front of his pants. His right elbow was pumping back and forth and I could hear him cursing " cocksucker". As he walked in front of my vehicle his gaze met mine and he stopped in mid-stride. Recognition, wheels began to turn in his mind, and he shifted direction to my driver's window. He knocked on my window and I began to wind the window down. "You're that new doc aren't ya" I started to extend my hand but quickly retreated when I realized on what part of his body his shaking hand was. I said " How's it goin?" His brow furrowed and he leaned close to my vehicle" Doc would you mind having a look at this damned itch in my privates. It is driving me fuckin crazy." I felt trapped but feebly countered " This isn't really the place for that....." Before I could finish he had dropped his pants (no underwear) and extended his pelvis so that his genitalia in all its glory was exposed 6-8 inches from my face. It is difficult to say exactly what passes through a man's mind in a situation like that but perhaps the most eloquent expression I can come up with is WHAT THE FUCK! He was separating a patch of pubic hair with his hands and imploring me to "look here Doc" when my professional awareness kicked in and I saw what the problem was: crabs, CRABS, HUNDREDS OF FUCKING CRABS INCHES FROM MY FACE
At a set of traffic lights. With a man with his pants down at my driver's side window.
Time to go. As I reached for the window roller I am sure I saw one jump or fall inside my car, on my fucking seat! Pure panic had overtaken me.as I wound up the window so quickly the crab man came dangerously close to an automotive circumcision.
Although I was not aware of it at the time , apparently the event was witnessed by the post mistress as she was having her smoke break outside the post office. As my luck would have it she was tied for second place as the most venomous gossip in Enasni. I would rather not disclose the nature of the gossip but it was vicious and well embellished.
Having secured my window my concerns immediately turned to the whereabouts of my unwelcome visitor. I had learned a healthy respect and, yes, fear of Pediculosis Pubis in my short career. I immediately straddled the center console of the car to get as far away from the drivers seat as I could and used my left foot to hold the break. The damned light was still red and the crab man was giving me the finger from the opposite side of the street. I imagined an itch on my left buttock and reflexively jerked my leg off the break lurching in to the intersection before I regained control. An old lady driving a rusty 1/2 ton veered to avoid the collision and gave me the finger as well.
The light turned green and I drove home, exited the passenger seat and ran to the local drug store and found a can of raid. I sprayed the entire contents into the car, rolled all the windows up and proceeded to wash all of my clothing in hot water. I went to sleep that night with visions of crabs. I woke up in the middle of the night and shaved my privates for good measure.
It was as if the energies at play had conspired to have a good laugh at my expense. Enasni spanked me hard that day and the next several weeks were trying as rumors swirled over my bizarre intersection behavior. It would not be my last run in with crabs in Esnasni but I learned fast and would be far more prepared the next time. Although I cursed the wickedness of the place, in many ways, it has shaped the person I have become.