An End to Innocence
By: John Petersen
Ahh…those were the days…
Freedom at last! You’re North of the ‘Gate’.
The evening is early, your night in the hands of fate.
Made your first stop for a few primers and grub,
After politely excusing your lap warmer, it’s off to the next pub.
As you look down this avenue, full of people, traffic signs, and lights,
things seem overwhelming, overbearing, your brain cells in constant fights.
“Which way do I go? Which door do I enter”?
Seems every establishment is slightly off center.
Chief laid the order, to my LPO in charge of my first night,
“Bring him back in one piece, free of the clap and without a fight.
For if this young booter, who’s life you are entrusted,
Comes back spoiled or soiled, your ass is busted”!
Let him sweat bullets, you think, as this is your night to explore.
‘Omaha ain’t nothing like this, oh God gimme more’!
One after another gotta try each dimly lit and noisy place,
If you could put them all in alphabetical order, it would only slow your pace.
Olongapo, the Barrio, amazingly the choices are endless, yet so many treats,
But cross the line into Subic City young and wise Cherry Boy,
And you’ll find an adult Disneyland, for before your eyes a deviated feast!
The debauchery, the deviousness, the seemingly endless show of skin,
The more San MaGoo’s you plow down, the more of the Peso’s in that stack you put in!
The night goes on, everything happens so fast, time flies like the wind,
And somehow, some way, you’ve made your way back to where it all seemed to begin.
You’ve tried just about everything from Mojo to Bullfrog both red and green,
And the bet is on that no one back home will believe anything you’ve seen.
Heading unsteadily back to the gate, it’s very dark, LPO got lost, but wait, hold up!
Food! Oh God, how you need it, something to fill the gut is required, Ayup!
Your prayers are answered, river queens replaced by BBQ carts, the smell is commanding,
You haven’t had a thing to eat in hours, the body is demanding.
Sustenance is needed and no question to that fact,
You’ve still got a pocket full of coin, and now is the time to act.
Absolutely no idea as to the origin of this meat,
All you know is it hits the spot, fills the void that the night has demanded to defeat.
Made it through the gate, no strip searches this time around,
You’ve made it back to the ship oh heroic one, your rack you actually found!
As you pour yourself into your private place of slumber, oh inebriated one,
Don’t forget the alarm clock as quarters are soon to come!