By Garland Davis
We served together in two forward deployed ships homeported in Yokosuka during the 60s. Then in ’70 we both got caught by the Zumwalt machine that determined we had been in WestPac too fucking long and must be repatriated to the States. I went to the Galley at NAS North Island for two years shore duty and he to a Tin Can out of Long Beach.
I would see him from time to time when his ship came to San Diego for one reason or another. Instead of living in the barracks, I had rented an apartment in Imperial Beach, and he would bunk in the extra bedroom. I have often wondered if it was for good or bad, but he cost me a girl friend and possibly saved me from the terrible mistake of marrying a round eye.
I was taking courses at San Diego State thinking that some day I might be a college educated Doughhead. The cooks watch routine of working five days one week and two days the next made it possible for me to take some day as well as evening classes.
She was in a couple of my classes. Tall, slender, athletic, and pretty. She was from a well-to-do family from Bloomington, Illinois, and kind of looked down her nose at others. She lived in one of the Sorority Houses.
I first talked with her early one Saturday morning at the San Diego Country Club. One of my old XO’s was a member and since I was a decent golfer, he often invited me to play with him and his wife.
She approached me that morning and asked, “Aren’t you in Professor Hagerty’s English Lit course?”
“Yes, I am and so are you. I have seen you there. Are you playing alone?”
“I’m on the University team and trying to get in an early practice round.”
That’s where I made my first mistake when I asked, “Would you like to join us and make it a foursome.”
She accepted and we teed off. The Commander, his wife, and I were pretty evenly matched and shot a round in the nineties while she carded a one under par round.
Afterward in the clubhouse over drinks, once the Commander and wife had departed, she said, “You intrigue me. You are learned, ambitious, associate with people socially superior to you, yet you are just a baker.”
The first thought that entered my mind was, “Intrigued enough to give me some pussy?” I managed to keep from saying it. What works in WestPac seldom works with round eyes.
She eventually did and spent more nights at my apartment than at the Sorority House.
That’s when BT2 came to town for four days. He called me at the Galley, “Hey dude, I’m stuck in San Diego for a week. The old man got a nasty-gram from the Squad-Dog about people losing leave because the ship can’t do without them. I am being forced to take five days, so I don’t lose it. The ship is out shooting at San Clemente Island or some shit like that. At the same time, I have to go to Balboa one day for a re-up physical, you know cough while a doctor plays with my nuts. Any chance I can crash at your place?”
“Of course, I’ve got the extra bedroom. But I have to warn you. I have a girlfriend who often stays over.”
“Where’d you pick her up at, the Westerner or the Trophy Lounge?”
“Neither she is in some of my classes at the University. We actually met on the golf course. She is not a Westpac Widow. She is single.”
“Well, lah ti fucking da. I’ll bet she is a fucking round eye too.” The Asshole said.
“As a matter of fact.”
She called me later and told me she would be a little late getting home that evening. The golfing coach wanted to work with her on her putting. I’d bet that old Dyke had working on putting her tongue in a different hole on her mind.
When she arrived it quickly became apparent that she was less than impressed with BT2. He looked her over and said, “Damn boy, you are reaching for the high hanging fruit.”
The second night ended her adventure with sailors. BT2 invited us to a quaint Steakhouse for dinner. Afterward, while driving through National City, he said, “Let’s stop at the Trophy Lounge. I want to see if there is anyone I know around to pull liberty with. You are a bummer.”
We went into the bar, and I could see she was equally as unimpressed as BT2 was happy to be in familiar surroundings. We went to the bar and ordered drinks. There was a group of Filipinas sitting at the place where the bar juts out into a circle.
BT2 said, “Lots of slime trails on the dance floor tonight. Be right back, I gotta go shake hands with Willy.”
The look of disgust on her face turned to horror as BT2 stopped at the gaggle of Filipinas, raised his right arm, with finger pointing upward, and made the ‘Gather on me motion,’ that Marine Sergeants make when they want the troops to gather round. He said, “Ladies, I’m new in town. Do any of you have some pussy you would like to get off on?”
She said to the bartender, “Call me a taxi.”
To me she blurted, ”I’m going to the Sorority house right now. I’ll get my things from your place tomorrow when you are not there. I thought you were different than other sailors. You are educated, well read, you can quote Dostoevsky and Shakespeare, yet you are friends with a rude and crude person like that. I am disappointed and disgusted.”
She moved to a table by the door to wait for the taxi. Right before her ride arrived, I walked over and spoke. “He is more than my friend; he is a shipmate. He may not quote Shakespeare, but he can expound of the principles of steam generation and propulsion and can quote Louis L’Amour and Travis McGee. If you can’t accept that then, you can fuck off.”
The last time I saw her she was going out the door with a ‘Holier than Thou’ look on her face. BT2 and I refreshed our drinks and set out to track down a couple of slime trails.