Everybody has their sob story

I don’t remember her name.

I think it began with a “V.” Victoria? Veronica? Well, it doesn’t matter, actually. I’ll call her “V.”

She lived in what I think was originally intended to be a mother-in-law quarters on a sequestered portion of a half-acre lot somewhere in the outskirts of Orlando where the vast flatness gave way to some small hills. Her small quarters were down the road from a quickie mart, where I had the occasion to partake of cold corned beef hash in a can. With convenient pop-top! It tastes like dog food but it’s cheap and fast and suffices at 4am when it’s too early even for fast food cuisine and you’ve been up all night.

Kurt had met her at a club a week before. We had time to burn now that it was August and Nuke Power School was nearly complete, and we were long past the days of 40 hours of mandatory study on top of 40 hour workweeks. And we were ready to burn off some stress. Kurt moreso.

Kurt was a tiny guy from a small town called Catoosa in backwoods Oklahoma. The kind of place where there was still a black side of town and a white side of town, and ne’er the twain shall meet. The kind of place where you wouldn’t be surprised to hear “nigger” and “queer” bandied about by folks with fewer teeth than kids.

Kurt had joined the Navy after falling into a bad crowd in high school, a torrid affair that culminated in several bad acid trips and a knocked up girlfriend. Kurt was fond of telling the story of the night he knocked up that girl, but from the angle of “I tasted my semen,” not one of pride. Long story short, they’d just had sex in the back of the car and he came inside her. I think he got caught up in the moment and forgot himself. She was pissed about it, and rightly so, so he dipped his finger inside her vagina and brought up the love goo to his tongue like a chef testing the batter; “Nope, that’s yours, not mine.” She bought the story. Kurt didn’t talk much about his progeny back in Catoosa.

Soon after, he was in boot camp.

All of us Nukes had our sob stories, and that was Kurt’s.

V and Kurt, though, I think it was a classical “my ticket outta here!” girl from Orlando hitchin’ her wagon to a Squid. He fucked her the first night and promptly secured a place for us to go drinking – her little hut at the end of the dirt driveway. It really was a small place, about 15 feet by 20 feet – MAYBE. It had a living room, kitchenette, a very small bathroom, and a small bedroom that had a curtain for a door. I’ve been in hotel rooms that are bigger.

I don’t remember much about V, but about a week after their first encounter at the rave, about 4 of us were at her place. Kurt and V went behind the curtain for a quick fuck while Josh and I were pawing through her tape collection. V had been going on about The Alan Parsons Project and had their tape. Her tape player didn’t work. To this day, I still don’t really know which songs I should attribute to TAPP. Josh was there because he was our ride, and for no other reason. He was an ugly, zit-faced punk from Vegas that drove a late-eighties vintage Camaro. I think it was cobalt blue. Josh had also knocked up a girl, though she was several years younger. They later moved into Navy housing in Saratoga Springs, NY, and nobody liked to go to their place because she was a VERY immature 16 years old. Which means she was probably 14 years old when he knocked her up. She threw infantile hysterics and wanted to be treated like a princess. So after 12 hour shifts on rotating shiftwork where you were always beat-down exhausted, Josh had to do all the cooking and cleaning and child rearing when he got home.

Josh always stared off into space, volume at an almost-whisper when he spoke of her, the regret welling up inside him, burden shouldering him for life.

And this was Josh’s sob story, his reason for joining the Navy. He was a walking poster-boy for prophylactics, however.

After the quickie, Kurt and the Josh were going to walk to the McDonald’s down the road about a quarter mile and bring back some lunch. They walked because gas was a luxury and the Camaro, you can imagine, wasn’t exactly solar-powered. I tossed them a twenty, which was all I had until payday in 4 days, but I could manage without any money in those days. While they were out, V was coming on to me. I wondered what she was doing, why she wasn’t freshly spent, and if she was really doing what I thought she was doing. I turned the conversation to The Alan Parsons Project, which, like an ADD child, distracted her sufficiently.

Kurt and Josh were back in about half an hour, bringing fries and other deep-fried goodness. The television had a broken antenna and only got the local Fox UHF channel, and that was fuzzy at best. The Simpsons were on, though, and I hadn’t seen the show in almost a year. So we enjoyed our McDonald’s and Simpsons, basking in Americana.

Day was fading to night and V and Kurt were feeling a little randy again. This time, however, V had other plans; she wanted me. Despite some appearances to the contrary, and what some people may think about me, I don’t go for goth tarts that fuck on the first date and hit on your friends while you’re out getting McDonald’s for them. Don’t get me wrong, she was reasonably attractive, dark hair, and had some meat on her bones – all things I like in a woman. But casual, meaningless sex WITH HER wasn’t something I wanted at 18 years old. The painful lesson of Josh’s child-bride was staring me in the face, and I wanted none of that.

V was actually trying to pull my pants off… “dear Penthouse letters…” Nah, like I said, this crazy chick had “skanky” written all over her and that was *not* the poonani I was interested in. She gave up on that, as Kurt was laughing, and they invited me to watch.

So I did.

They were both egging me to join in, but I wasn’t having it. He said he did this kind of thing with friends back home, he was pounding her doggie style while his friend was getting sucked off, and, kneeling and facing each other, they would high-five as she was getting worked over. It was tempting, but I didn’t give in. He decided to actually pop her in the pooper, at which point I left the room. He was disappointed. She was disappointed.

But the joke was on him: 2 weeks later he had to go to Sick Call to get some penicillin to clear up a venereal disease she’d given him, with a serving of crabs on the side. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Navy base had recently opened up to the public during the day, meaning anyone could come to the base without a visitor pass or escort. V had suddenly taken to stalking Kurt and was desperately trying to find out where his dorm room was. She later claimed that she was pregnant with his baby, but later gave up that story when it couldn’t be proven.

You see, kiddies, it’s good to trust your instincts when they’re screaming “skank! Skank! Skank!” I’m sure glad I listened to myself. (takes shoes and sweater off and goes to visit King Friday)

The last time I saw her was after “comp” (final exam) day, when everyone was in “the circle” (the courtyard between the schools), waiting to hear our final Nuclear Power School grades; she was looking around for him – again. I saw her first and steered clear of the psych case. I never found out what happened to V after that. I vaguely remember someone telling me she went “back home,” wherever home was. She’d tried to make it on her own in Orlando and failed, tried to hitch her wagon to a meal ticket and failed, tried to leech on to the first sucker she found – and failed.

And this was V’s sob story.

(Kurt is living in North Carolina; Josh went to prototype training in Idaho a few days later and I never heard from him again.)