We arrived at the FOB for our first shower in four weeks. I’m sure they smelled us coming when we were still at least a klick away from the front gate. And there she was: The prettiest dickless Tracy I’d ever seen. A female captain military police officer waiting for the arrival of the Cavalry – us. All we wanted was a hot meal and a hotter shower. She obliged. After no more than an exchange of salutes she let our convoy through and I saw her when I drove by. None of that nonsense bimbo dust on her face. Natural. Fair. Freckled on the bridge of her nose. It’d been a long dry hot while since any of us had seen a white woman. That ain’t to say we thought the BMO were ugly. Most of them weren’t. Their beauty came from the ecclesiastic earth they walked on. One time we were advised to keep a distance between ourselves and female I-rackies. An extra distance. I-rackie males were jealous that their women thought we were cute, wanted to talk with us. Nah, man, they just wanna ride your dick to America. But after suffering Operation Phantom Fury – and fury was an understatement, like calling a torso in a ditch a casualty of war – we wanted some Western attraction. That captain had a midwestern farmer’s daughter appeal and I imagined she lost her virginity in a barn while her daddy couldn’t hear her moaning over the groaning of the tractor as he plowed the wheat field and the high school football quarterback plowed her.
Mindless entertainment. Clean and full I sat down in the day room for a movie, some raunchy comedy starring a Saturday Night Live alum. Don’t remember the title. Won’t forget the pretty captain sitting beside me with her legs crossed, hands in lap, eyes front. Three of us – me, the captain, and a combat we called High On War (after Phantom Fury he wasn’t so high anymore) cause he wrote that with permanent marker on his dome of obedience – monopolized the sofa, just big enough to provide a cushion for each ass, of course the captain’s was the smallest. I wondered how she managed to pass the physical rigors of basic, hell, my battle rattle outweighed her. High On War went out for a smoke. About the time I figured he was on his third or fourth drag I thought I should join him. Should not join him. Just leave. Sure the captain was on my right side, my uneffected side, and probably didn’t remember me, but something might make her stand up, walk around – maybe to get a drink from the soda machine – and catch a glimpse of my affected side and then, goddamnit, she’d remember me, remember our brief, wordless exchange and the shock it must have caused her – What the hell happened to him? – then again I was a paranoid motherfucker. Full frontal contact with real life bogeymen lurking in dark corners and behind doors will do that to a man.
Five days later we left. I rode shotgun as we drove out the same gate we came in through and saluted farewell to the same pretty captain. I read the name on the right pocket of her uniform: B________. Neither her posture nor her face betrayed distraction from duty. Mind armed with nothing but the general orders: I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved; I will obey my special orders and perform all my duties in a military manner; I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief. She saw my good side and I winked. And to this day I flatter myself that I disarmed her with that wink.