Dark Cloud In A Silver Lining
The weekend, especially Friday night, I revere as a weekly religious event. Worshiping at the local taverns with an ass-kicking band playing rock n roll hymns and a cold libation to toast to whatever the hell I want.
I’m not the type to drink myself into a stupor. Getting drunk is a waste of an evening as well as the next morning nursing a hangover. I prefer to get dimly lit, just enough to engage in social interaction without displaying tendencies of an asshole. Scotch is my social lubricant with a few lines of cocaine; they always serve as a perfect duo.
It was an hour before my date was picking me up. Yes she was picking me up and there’s nothing wrong with that. Some women find it rather sexy. There had been a couple of incidents that had caused my driver’s license to be suspended, so she’s kindly volunteered to be my chauffeur for the evening. Besides, it’s a pleasure to be driven around without the fear of being pulled over for once.
I decided to hit the shower while my clothes were in the dryer. I had been neglecting my manscaping for quite some time, and with Bethany a sure thing, it was time to take action. Far from a professional at this activity, I decide to proceed.
My tools consist of a large pair of scissors and a Bic triple-edge razor.
There was a time when the more hair a man had on his legs, chest, and around the one-eyed monster, this was considered a sign of masculinity. Nowadays, many of these “men” shaved themselves smooth, with some even choosing the painful method of hot waxing.
The water pressure is blasting from the shower head with such force it actually stings. I am cutting the longer hair around my pubic area with scissors to shorten it, prepping to finish off with the razor.
I rest my foot upon the rim of the tub, providing a better view of my groin area. The conditioner in my hair begins running down, coating my body with its slickness. As I attempt to snip a patch of hair from my right testicle, my foot suddenly slips, causing me to tumble into the tub.
Instantly I notice a large ribbon of blood streaming out from underneath me. Even as I sprawl across the bottom of the tub, I’m still holding the scissors in hand.
I don’t believe I’ve stabbed myself as I search my body for wounds. Slowly crawling to my feet, it is then that I notice the stream of blood trickling down my right leg.
Taking a closer look, I finally discover my self-inflicted wound and what appears to be a large macadamia nut hanging from my scrotum.
“Son of a bitch!” I scream. “I cut my balls off!”
I quickly tuck the round white gonad back into its sack, pinching it closed in an effort to stop the bleeding. Should I go to the hospital emergency room? The pain increases and the bleeding continues.
Damn, if I go to the ER, it’ll sure be embarrassing to explain how this happened… Sweet Jesus, what am I going to tell Bethany?
And then, as if right on cue, the door bell rings. Surely it’s Bethany, arriving early as she always does.
“Hey Beth, come on in, the door is unlocked,” I call out to her. “I’m in my bedroom in back. Please hurry!”
“What’s going on baby? Where is all the blood coming from?” she asks. “Did you get shot, Santi?”
“I can only wish I had been shot… I’d gladly face that type of injury rather than this!”
“Tell me what happened? I can’t help if I don’t know what’s wrong.”
“I cut my ballsack while shaving in the shower. My foot slipped and the scissors snipped right through. I saw my gonad hanging out, Beth.”
She moves in closer to get a better view. I lift the towel to show her, noticing the bleeding still hasn’t stopped.
“Oh Santi, you poor thing! I think you should go to the emergency room.”
She tries to keep a serious face, but the humorous implication of the incident wins out and she begins laughing, apologizing between chuckles.
“Ha ha,” I say, “absolutely hilarious, I’m sure…”
“Come on, let’s get you dressed and we’ll get you to the ER. Sound good babe?”
A woman in control of a situation that demands immediate attention is a real turn on. Bethany is a take-charge kind of girl. Besides being an incredibly gorgeous woman, she’s intelligent as well as responsible.
Why I’m not completely taken by her loveliness is beyond me. Then again, maybe I am in love with her and it’s the reason I don’t commit to a relationship. It would end with me ruining her innocent nature and destroying her already fragile belief in love. It is better we are an occasional couple. I adore her too much to cause her emotional distress that would most likely manifest into her hating me eventually.
Women I’ve been associated with are drawn to me for only one reason, I’m a novelty. A novelty similar to those sold at your local joke store. You’re familiar with what I’m referring to: Black gum, sneeze powder, Chinese finger cuffs, the hand buzzer and the famous fart pillow. Like the fart pillow’s humor quickly fades, the novelty in my personality becomes a mundane routine no longer entertaining. Eventually this leads to a complete state of disbelief with her questioning how she ended up with a man like me.
Meanwhile, Bethany is speeding like a possessed NASCAR driver, weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights and beeping her horn in short rapid bursts. I’m terrified, but impressed with this talent she has kept hidden from me all this time.
“Take it easy there, Earnhardt,” I tell her, wincing with pain. “It’s not worth getting in an accident baby!”
Now if I were driving, I would have been pulled over for speeding, or not using my turn signal. She, on the other hand, has somehow managed to avoid the police, and the other motorists on the road even courteously let her cut them off from lane to lane.
We arrive with a screeching halt as Bethany slams on the breaks, coming to a stop just outside the ER entrance. She turns to me, smiles, then giggles like a schoolgirl.
Our exhibition draws the attention of the attendants inside and they respond by rushing out to the car. In the hopes of getting faster treatment, I act as though my injury is much more serious than it actually is. I groan like I’ve been gravely injured as they drag me from the passenger’s seat.
A male attendant brings a wheelchair, then he and another lift me into it. My jeans are soaked through with blood at the crotch. I’m dripping red droplets on the pristine white tile floor as I’m wheeled to the nurse at the triage desk.
“What do we have here dear?” she asks. “How long have you been bleeding like this? What happened?”
“I accidentally cut my scrotum and now my gonad is hanging out…” I mumble in reply.
“Speak up hon, I can’t hear what your saying. You cut your stomach? Is that what you said?”
“No no no, I cut my scrotum,” I repeat, a little louder this time as I lean in closer.
And then, my secret revealed, the nurse repeats exactly what I’d just told her in a loud, boisterous voice for all within earshot to hear.
“Did you say you cut your scrotum and your gonads?! How in the Lord’s name did you manage to do that?!”
Just as I expected, laughter erupts from those seated in the waiting area. Patients, attendants, and nurses alike erupt into barely contained hysterics at my expense.
“Darling, do you want to explain the circumstances surrounding your injury?”
“No, not here I don’t!”
“Okay then, let’s get you to an examination room and evaluate the laceration and you can explain to the doctor. Would that be better?”
Bethany is standing behind me, rubbing my shoulders reassuringly as she offers up her own take on my near castration.
“He’s a bit embarrassed about the accident and would rather not share it with everyone, if you know what I mean? It’s something that I think most folks wouldn’t understand.”
Suddenly she starts laughing as well, which sets off a chain reaction of others laughing along with her.
“Thanks for your moral support, Beth,” I whisper to her as we’re led into the room. “You sure helped keep me from being humiliated back there.”
“Sorry Santi, but you’ll find the humor in this someday and laugh your ass off, too. Oh baby did I hurt your feelings? You’ll forgive me later when I get you home.”
“Is this your wife, Mr. Santiago?” a nurse asks.
“No! And with the black marks she’s accumulating, there’s little to no chance she will be in the future!”
“Were you going to propose to me tonight Santi?” she squeals excitedly. “Were you?”
“Only family allowed in examination rooms, I’m afraid.”
“But I request her presence,” I grudgingly admit. “I prefer she stays. I need the company.”
“Alright,” the nurse sighs, “I guess we can make an exception…”
It is then that the doctor arrives, prepared to assess the damage.
“Okay, let me have a look at this laceration,” he says as he snaps on gloves. “I’m Doctor Sullivan. You want to explain how this happened?”
“Not really,” I tell him truthfully. “Let’s just say scissors should never come in close proximity to one’s genitalia.”
“Amen!” he says. “Doing some manscaping, were ya? In the future, you might want to look into using an electric razor instead. Somewhat less dangerous.”
“Yes baby,” Bethany says, “that way we won’t have to spend our Friday night in the ER. What if we decide to have children and you end up with a home-done vasectomy? I wanna have babies honey.”
“Are you for real?” I shoot back at her. “What in the hell are you even talking about? How could you take care of a baby? Your houseplants died, your cat went missing, your goldfish went belly up, and now you want a baby?”
“Okay,” Doctor Sullivan says, “we’ll get some stitches in there and get you and the Mrs. on your way. I’ll get you good and numbed up to dull the pain. I’ll write you a prescription for some Vicodin. Luckily, you didn’t cause any major damage to the family jewels, so I think you two should be able to have a houseful of ankle biters.”
He exits the room and I hear laughter echoing throughout the hallway outside. I’m sure they’re not laughing with me, but at me, because I have still yet to find any humor in this situation.
I turn back to Bethany and she’s crying.
“What the hell is wrong with you? Feeling guilty about your earlier antics?”
“You’re a real son of a bitch, you know that? What an insensitive thing to say… Bad enough telling me I wouldn’t be a good mother, but you said it in front of the doctor and everything! Where are your manners?”
“My mother is a wonderful woman, so don’t refer to her as a bitch. There is no reason to bring her into this twisted event. Also I’m truly sorry for making such an insensitive remark. Undeservingly, I directed my frustration at you. Please forgive me…”
She walks over and kisses me softly on the head. The kind of kiss that reaches deep down and touches your soul. She then slaps my face playfully and smiles.
“You’ll make a wonderful mother, without a doubt.”
Finally, I get my stitches along with my Vicodin, and we start the drive back home.
“Hey Bethany, I’m feeling much better now,” I tell her along the way. “Let’s make a quick pit stop at the house so I can change my clothes, and I’ll take you out for a superb dinner. Then, after, we’ll grab a couple of cocktails and see some live music. I owe it to you baby, you deserve a decent night out. What do you say?”
“That would be nice honeybun, but can I pick the restaurant? And we’re not going to the Saxon Pub to see all your old girlfriends. Is that okay?”
After dinner, we wind up at the Continental Club in SoCo Austin, a decision of hers I am pleased with. I must confess, however, part of my passive disposition is due to the Vicodin I’d popped earlier, washed down with the bottle of Merlot we’d shared at dinner.
Bethany has adopted a warm glow about her with an affectionate display of touching, kissing, and holding hands. She took a Vicodin as well, drank her fair share of wine, and we’d sparked a joint before dinner and finished it on the way to the club.
The place is jammed with University of Texas students yelling and acting out with immature obviousness.
Just the way I like it. Everyone enjoying themselves, the music screaming with the incentive to dance or just tap your foot. A close acquaintance of mine, Rusty Weir, is playing accompanied by Sean Shark Waterson on harmonica.
I’ve started walking with a slight limp due to my accident, which I have finally begun to view humorously now that I’m high.
“Baby, I’ve gotta pee,” Bethany says. “See if you can find us a table? I hope the line for the bathroom isn’t too long…”
She kisses me on the cheek and gives me a pat on my ass before walking off. I respond with a smile and give a thumbs up to acknowledge her request.
As I search for a table, there at the end of the bar I notice an old flame, one that still flickered in my memory. ‘Ravishing Rachael’ is the flower you so want to pick and make your own, but her beauty comes with some thorns.
She walks up to me with the confidence of the jaguar she is, puts her arms around me, and acts as though she is going to kiss my lips before pulling away. She giggles and twirls a strand of her long, curly black mane, biting her lower lip.
“Santiago,” she says, “where the hell have you been keeping yourself? Mexico, Guatemala, Jail? I’ve missed you. You never call and you change your number every other week. Why don’t answer your email?”
Now, Rachael is the most enthusiastic person to party with I have ever known. Also, she is a goddess in bed with an intimate way about her and an anything-goes attitude. She’s also bisexual, and whenever we’d go out together, she would just point at another woman in the bar. She’d then ask if I approved and recruit her to participate in a threesome. I’d never heard her sales pitch myself, but there were only three occasions in my memory where it ever failed.
“It’s nice to see you, Rachael. I’ve been busy with this and that. Is your number the same? Are you still living in the apartment off of McNeal? I promise to give you a call. I’m with someone tonight, and I’m quite certain she’s not a three-on-the-mattress type.”
“So you’re dumping me already? Damn, hello and goodbye all in one breath. And why are you walking with a limp? Too much working out in bed?”
“No, I nearly cut my balls off while manscaping with some scissors earlier. Had to get stitches and everything. I just got out of the ER a couple of hours ago.”
Of course, she immediately begins laughing.
“Oh my God, that is definitely something that could only happen to you, Santi. Another crazy experience to add to your list. Let me see! I wanna see…”
“What? I’m not dropping my pants right here in front of the whole bar.”
I could have just responded with a “no”, but no, I just had to go and encourage her curiosity.
“Come on, we’ll go into a stall in the restroom. Please, Santi, let me see! I wanna see your stitches. What a great pickup line! Wanna see my stitches, baby?”
“Okay, but let’s make it quick. Bethany, my companion, will be back soon.”
“You can’t do it, can you? You’re just unable to call her your date? Still hung up on the whole commitment thing, huh?”
The bathroom was relatively vacant with just a few guys draining their snakes. An empty stall was available and we quickly ducked in. Rachael shut the door behind us and locked it.
“Hey man, this is the men’s room,” someone comments. “Girls aren’t suppose to be in here, it’s against the law.”
“Are you for real, Mr. Bathroom Policeman?” I comment back. “I need her to assist me in changing my ostomy Bag. Does that fucking satisfy your curiosity?”
Stepping up on top of the toilet seat, I undo my pants and Rachael fishes out my balls, which are still wrapped in gauze.
“Baby take it easy, don’t pull so hard! Can you see now? Move the bandage to the side…”
“Ouch! Santi, that must’ve hurt and scared the hell out of you.”
A strong pounding on the stall door startles me.
“Open this door immediately. “
Racheal quickly complies and the door swings open, revealing me standing on top of the toilet my pants around my ankles and Rachael’s mouth at my crotch level.
“We don’t approve of this type of shit going on in here,” the bouncer informs us. “This is a goddamn public restroom, and we can’t allow this kind of thing to be happening. Understand?”
He was a large fellow, fitting the common description of one in his line of work. Crew cut, musclebound, his blazer testing the strength of its buttons. Sweat droplets on his upper lip and brow. His shoes are unpolished and he has a baby face he’ll most likely never outgrow.
“Please, Sir,” I try to explain while pulling up my pants, “this is not as it appears!”
“Get down from there before you get hurt. You’re both going to have to leave.”
“You can’t throw us out without at least hearing me out! I had an operation earlier today, and all she was doing was assisting me with my bandages. I swear that’s the God’s honest truth! It wasn’t what you think, so how about a pass? Whadaya say, big guy?”
“I understand, bud, but you brought her in here and that’s a definite No-No. I’ve gotta go by the rules. I’m sorry. Come on, let’s move it.”
Meanwhile, the crowd in the bathroom has grown into a small mob of people with curious looks on their faces. Some expressing comments, some laughing.
“I guess that guy was getting a blowjob in the bathroom stall…” I heard someone say.
“He was snorting coke with that babe in here…” said another.
We’re escorted out by two bouncer bookends acting as though we’d committed a felony.
“Can I at least inform my female friend,” I plead, “so she won’t think I abandoned her, please?”
“Never a boring moment when I’m with you, Santi,” Rachael jokes.
“I have to find Bethany… I’m not going to have her think I deserted her.”
They lead Rachael to her table to retrieve her purse and jacket. She turns and blows me a kiss. I scan the crowd searching for Bethany, but it’s dark and difficult to identify her.
“Bethany! Bethany!” I scream over the noise of the crowd. “I have to go! Come outside, Bethany!”
“I’m right behind you, Santi!”
I hear her voice singing in my ear from over my shoulder. I turn around to begin my opening statement, immediately laying out my defense. As I start to speak she raises her hand, signaling me to stop. She turns and I follow her out.
We reach the exit, but before we can leave, the crowd starts applauding and cheering. I go to wave at my newfound fanbase but Bethany swiftly grabs my arm, holding it down.
“Don’t you dare!” she snaps.
“Oh, don’t be upset,” I tell her. “You’ll find the humor in this someday and laugh your own ass off!”
“I hardly think so!” she fires back. “We’ll discuss this back at home. You have an enormous amount of ass kissing to do. You know what you are, Santi? You’re a disaster looking for a place to happen.”
“Personally, I prefer ‘the company that misery enjoys’. Or ‘the black cloud in every silver lining’. My mother’s favorite.”
“Those too!” she spits in fury, seconding the motion.
The drive home is draped in silence, punctuated only by accusatory daggers from Bethany’s angry eyes.
The whole while, I’m thinking how lucky I am to still have both my testicles.