Sex, Drugs, and Public Health

March 2, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — cbmosher @ 6:19 am

He came in for a physical, that’s all. Applying for a job. And it should have been simple: he was in his mid-twenties, trim, athletic. When he smiled, the muscles of his face revealed that the rest of his muscles would be well toned, too.

But even before he undressed, the jagged scar on his arm snagged my eyes. It gouged its way from his biceps down to near his wrist like the Colorado tears through the rocks of Arizona. Some places thin and presumably deep, other places thick, wide, a bundle of scar tissue knotting together the halves of his arm.

So, of course, I asked. I can get away with asking, what with the stethoscope dangling from my neck and all.

Me and three buddies, he began, we went up to Humboldt to surf. Great beach there with good waves. Not monsters, but challenging, you know?

It’s off the road quite a ways. Half an hour of slow driving over a cow pasture to the cliff where you can climb down.

Humboldt, you know, the water is cold and always stirred up. Kinda brown. Not much visibility. But the rollers were perfect that day. Fucking perfect.

I was into the water before my buddies had zipped their wetsuits. I wanted to catch the first big one.

He hit me while I was still paddling out, and pulled me down by my arm. I think he wanted to drown me first. My leg was dragging my board down behind me – I felt like I was being torn in half. I figured out right away what it was and knew I had, like, a 90% chance of being dead in a minute. And that pissed me off.

So, with my right hand, I felt around for his eye. Somewhere on that sandpaper head, I found it. And I started digging. Like my life, you know, depended on it.

Deep. I would have dug with my thumb to that bastard’s brain, if I could have. My thumb squeezed that gelatinous ball in its socket. I aimed my fingernail straight in, and pushed until I felt it explode, and my thumb fell deep into the puddle of goo oozing from his socket.

He spit me out.

The rest I don’t remember too good. Air. That felt good. A few heaving breaths of air. Then I yelled for my friends. They tell me I was thrashing in the “Red Sea.” Ha, ha. Very funny. Assholes.

They tell me they wondered if they were supposed to put a tourniquet on to stop the gush of blood. But they didn’t know what a tourniquet was, so they didn’t.

They tell me I was going unconscious as they dragged me up the cliff. They tell me they drove so fast over that pasture that the truck was airborne half the time. They tell me the doctor in the little one-horse hospital thought I was dead when they dragged me in, just dripping blood, no longer gushing it. No blood pressure to gush with, they said.

The doctor, they tell me, said the only reason I was still alive was ‘cause I was young. ‘Course, I know better. It’s because somewhere out there, some Son of a Bitch fish is trying to hunt seals with a patch over one eye.

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