Dr. Collins was a doll. He never told us to be quiet. I think he truly enjoyed the riot that was us. I think that it really disturbed him when we ran after he’d tossed the crabs in the pot. When he found me under a bush in the dark, he looked truly sorry. He had been expecting more enthusiasm when he boiled the crabs. I can’t remember his explanation of how some things must die, but I do remember being cuddled in his arms and then being swung down onto a chair at the huge dining table. It was on the porch and only received striped light from the kitchen windows.
Dr.Collins had covered everything with newspaper and I could hear my mother asking how we should eat them. Dr.C threw down a pile of dinner knives and with the devil in his eye, he said,”Like this!” He’d grabbed one of the knives by the blade and whirled it over his head and sent it crashing down on a cooked crab. Mother sputtered,”But how will the childre…?” Dr.C handed me a knife and put the blade end in my palm and fisted it up. “Okay? Now hit it real hard!”
I’ve never forgotten that dinner. We bashed those crabs with a gusto that only strictly brought up children let out of Manners Prison know. Dr. Collins was my first crush. He fed me fancy crab dinner, rescued me from fear in the darkness and kindly explained the confusing concept of in the midst of life we are in death. My Knight in Shining Madras. I think I was 4.