by Lewis Turco
I was driving on the eastern outskirts of Dresden, Maine, coming from Wiscasset, when I saw a sign I'd not seen before that read, "ABE NAKI TRADING POST." Because I love a good trade I stopped and went in where I saw a man standing at the counter. I walked up to him and asked, "Are you Abraham?"
"Abraham?" He replied with a quizzical look in his eyes.
"Aren't you? I assumed it was short for 'Abraham.' Aren't you Mr. Naki?"
"Mr. Naki! Are you a wise guy or something?"
I was nonplussed. "Me? Why do you say that? You look sort of Japanese to me, at least Asian of some kind. Isn't 'Naki' a Japanese name?"
A change came over him, especially his eyes. "Get the fuck out of my store," he said as he came around the corner of the counter. He picked up a hatchet as he came toward me.
I backed away. "What did I do?"
"Do?" He asked. "Do? You're too stupid to DO anything except misread 'Abenaki,' the name of my tribe, for some Japanese guy named 'Abe Naki.'" As I dived into my car he said, "New York plates! I should'a known," and he kicked my fender as I sped away.
Copyright © Lewis Turco 2016, all rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the author.