“Look, Frank, I was an EMT before the world started to end. I’m the closest thing to a Doctor nearby, I’m willing to bet.” Tracy said to me, in all seriousness.
“Ow.” I whined.
“You need to know if you’re intact or not. If you are, then you really need to rest up and let the swelling go down.” She paused, just to add to the gravitas. “On the other hand, if you’re… damaged… something needs to be done, right now. Gangrene, or an infection, without real medical help, will kill you.”
“I know. Now undo your belt, and use your arms to lever you off the chair. I’ll get your pants down, and have a look.”
“This isn’t,” I gasped as I unbuckled my belt, “a really elaborate way to look at my junk, is it?”
“You’re a strange man, joking about that at a time like this.”
I levered myself up on my arms, took a deep breath, and prepared for awful things.
“I can joke because I’m utterly terrified.” I admitted it through clenched teeth.
She didn’t respond, because she was paying attention to gently working my blood-encrusted pants off. In any other alternate universe, I would have enjoyed having a voluptuous brunette take a gander at my bits, but I couldn’t find anything remotely erotic about it at the time.
“Marvin! Hurry! Frank’s pants are down, and Tracy’s examining his balls!” Shirley called out.
That was awful, but not as bad as the front door to the bar swinging open. A huge, blond man, with long hair, was standing in the doorway. He looked around, blinked, and then locked eyes with me.
“Yeah. Well.” He stammered, sounding like he came from well south of here. “This looks like a bad time to come in for a beer. Y’all take care now.”
He turned to leave, but Shirley called out to him, and encouraged him to hang around.
“It’s okay, Shawn! Frank got a bad kick in the testies, and my niece is just making sure the little boys are still in their sacks. Marvin will be down in a minute, and he’ll get you a beer.”
“Oh. Well. That makes me feel much better.” He tried to smile, but it came out as a grimace behind his beard and mustache. “I’m sorry to hear you took a bad hit there, dude.”
“I appreciate your sympathy.” I managed to say that without wheezing from the stress, and pain that was slowly creeping up my arms. “Please don’t be disturbed if I scream at random intervals.”
Tracy tapped me on the leg, and I looked down… and instantly wished I hadn’t.
“Okay, your testicles are intact, but there’s substantial bruising and swelling.”
“They look like giant, Chinese, thousand year-old eggs!” I cried.
“Yes, but the swelling will go down, and we’ll know more then. It’ll take a little time to know if the internal damage amounts to castration. Your voice and body hair won’t change overnight.”
“Oh, man!” Shawn, the new arrival at the bar, winced and hid his face in his hand.
Marvin plowed through the kitchen door into the bar, got a look at my testicles, let out a tiny scream, and grabbed his crotch with both hands. Either he was feeling masculine sympathy, or he’d just passed a kidney stone. The other possibility was something I didn’t want to entertain: the idea that my naked, bruised, anatomy was so erotic that he had a spontaneous orgasm.
Sympathy. It had to be sympathy.
“They really do look awful.” Shirley said as she poked her head around from the side.
“Gosh. Thanks, Shirley.”
“Aunt Shirley, could you get a blanket or a towel? I don’t want to put his pants back on. They’re too restrictive, and he needs a little more… room… than usual to be comfortable.”
Shirley made an affirmative noise, and scuttled off somewhere.
I looked down at Tracy’s serious face, and felt absurdly grateful I had someone to take care of me.
“Okay. Frank, I want you to lower yourself back into the chair, slowly, and carefully. I’m going to take your boots off, and get the jeans all the way off. When Aunt Shirley comes back, I’ll put the blanket across your lap. You just sit still and we’ll let your body cope with,” she gestured at my groin, “the swelling. If we had ice, I’d have you sitting on a block, but we don’t have that luxury.”
What else could I do? Run a marathon? No. I did what she suggested, and tried not to jostle the Panza twins on my way down.
God must have been with me, because I managed it.
Shirley arrived out of nowhere, and passed a quilt to Tracy, who draped it across my lap. She did an amazing job; I didn’t even wail. Not a tiny bit!