Archive for January, 2008

My Black Army Chick


The prelude to this short story begins at this post:


Although I missed the military and the comforts of having everything put in order for me in life, the rains and biting cold of European winters were tough, especially when on training exercises. Training to be a soldier during the Cold War involved learning survival skills for the most brutal of winter climates. The Russians were accustomed to Siberian winters. We had to learn to stay alive in a land what could one day become a battlefield. There were suspicions that Communists would invade the West and come over the Berlin Wall like an arctic cold front. We had to be ready for them so we were taught to sleep in tents in the woods. I hated the cold of Germany.

For weeks on end it seemed like our toes and fingers would never thaw out. The damp air cut straight through my freckled skin into my bones as I headed out of my room towards the entrance to the building. Winters never seemed so cold in Pennsylvania. My pale, hairy legs were sticking out from under a brown bathrobe. I made a flopping sound in a pair of rubber shower shoes as I approached the C.Q. desk where Lisa was waiting for me.

Members of the platoon were headed in and out of the door just behind the guard station. Those coming inside carried six packs of beer from a nearby PX and others heading out were dolled- up in civilian clothes, likely on their way to the nearby officer’s club. I doubted that anyone leaving the barracks had enough German Marks to afford a taxi into Frankfurt for a night of bar hopping. Because Fliegerhorst was also a base for several aviation units, we were far from the heart of any major town and walking to a nearby German pub was out of the question during winter months. Very few soldiers had cars. It was the 28th of the month. I assumed almost everyone dressed up was headed to the NCO bar on base.

 There were slot machines on military installations in Europe. Those who did not become alcoholics fell prey to the grips of gambling via slot machines. Lisa and I had each other, and didn’t get sucked into the casino training as deeply as others had. We liked dancing and that became our addiction. We could go all night.

We had our moments of weakness to the bottle though. We spent many drunken nights together in Ansabach. We were still friends back then and I considered her the most entertaining person I had ever known. We danced to techno music until they closed the Liberty Bell at 3 a.m. The long, cold nights were a blast with her. She was so crazy when she drank and after I had a few, I became just like her–willing to try anything once and afraid of nothing. We exploited a European law that permits anyone over sixteen to be served alcohol. We’d return to post only to get one or two hours of sleep before being awoken sharply at 5 a.m. for physical fitness training and a full day’s work. For a while it didn’t seem like we were even in the military. We felt like club kids. Those runs in the morning nearly killed us, but the fun we had together at the Liberty Bell was worth every mouthful of vomit that poured out of our throats when they made us do push ups.

The frigid January air felt fresh off the Alps as it brushed across my shins. The cold air from outside gave me goose bumps all over. The coldness reminded me of the nights when Lisa and I were mere kids, running the town, looking for nothing but another beer and another floor to dance on.

“What are you doing at my new duty station, Lisa?”

“What do you mean– what am I doing here? What are you doing here, Taylor?” Lisa asked, dressed in a pair of BDU’s and combat boots, appearing as though she had been working all day in a military motor pool.

It was good sleeping weather. I would much rather have gone to bed early than take her back to my room for small talk and to pretend that I was so happy to have crossed paths with her again. I was extremely tired and my muscles ached from a return to the military’s rigid exercise regimens.

I didn’t want to invite her back to my room immediately. My roommates were in their underwear, spit shining boots, fighting over what to listen to on one of three stereos in the room and drinking heavily.

“Wait here a minute,” I said to her as I headed back to 204 to ask the guys to get dressed.

“We have company, guys.”

“Alright,” Ventura replied. “Did he bring some beer?”

“Get dressed. It’s a girl.”

Lisa waited patiently as I walked away to make things clear for her. She studied a wall covered with large picture frames. Inside were individual head shots of men from 1st of the 32nd Field Artillery Battalion. Company commanders arranged for soldiers to have their pictures taken for various reasons: society pages of small town newspapers, grandparents, and other loved ones were mailed these professional portraits. It was still a time when letter writing was considered a reasonable means of communication. Friends and family stateside appreciated the glossy images, often tucked neatly inside of handwritten letters that described the beauty of Germany and the thrills of life in the military, overseas. At least that’s how I wrote people from the Army– always positive, always something uplifting in my poetry, despite the incredible sadness and loneliness I experienced from time to time. I loved writing letters to folks back home– the ones that I still missed. Replies were often handwritten beautifully. My cousin Sally corresponded with me the most over the years– telling me all about her wedding engagement to Ronnie and other gossip from back home in Three Springs. Mom always put Celestial Seasoning Herbal tea bags in her letters to me. Writing home to her felt like having English tea with a good friend.

Newspapers across America often reported on the troops. We were ordered to complete official Army press kits and submit one of our pictures to our commanders who handed the paperwork up the chain of command. The Army mailed pre-written narratives relating to our ‘military experience’ and one of our mugshots to our hometown newspapers. Information relating to our home towns and its newspapers was conveniently on file in our personnel jackets. The data was collected when we first entered the service in local recruiting stations. On enlistment contracts, there was a question relating to hometown media venues. Recruiters often filled in the blanks for recruits and made signing up easy– “Just place your signature here, please.”

Our smiles served as an excellent marketing tool for the Army and its recruiting efforts. Our handsome faces and cheesy grins lured other young people who read newspapers into military service. I did my best to look like a corn ball every time I had an official military photograph taken, hoping to send an encoded signal to innocent minds that may be foolish like I had been by voluntarily entering a world of toilet cleaning and spit shines.

I absolutely hated being put up on the wall in the barracks or to have my image used for marketing purposes. We had to pay for the photographs ourselves anyway. We should have had a choice about having the shots taken. Usually once a year, near the holidays, a photographer came to the barracks and we were ordered into our dress green uniforms for an inspection by the commander and then we would smile and pretend that we loved our country.

Troops were required to buy copies of the portraits. Civilian photographers often took our pictures on a pay day at the end of the month when there were no excuses for not having the cash to buy them. Our commanders were intelligent leaders who knew how to milk the cow dry. They took our portraits before anyone had the chance to cash their checks and spend it on booze and cigarettes. It was a time before direct deposit, when we received checks directly from Uncle Sam. The Army even made arrangement to have our checks cashed in exchange for a huge pile of greenbacks. It felt good to hold all that money in our hands with no rent to pay or food to buy– just drinking money, and of course, the little things like pictures that had to be taken.

While returning down the hallway to greet Lisa, I realized that eventually I would find my place behind the glass at Fliegerhorst barracks with the images of other American G.I.’s who had served their country within the Division which I was now a part of. In a sense, it was like getting into the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I hoped that Lisa wasn’t returning into my life to try to ruin my military career again. I deserved to be on that wall too!

Lisa stood next to the C.Q. desk with her back to me and studied the photographs as if there may be someone hanging on the wall that she had met before– maybe someone from Harlem, like her, or perhaps she was just curious about the new unit I was in.

I noticed she had gotten terribly fat.

She thought deeply about those photographs as I often had, I imagined. They were of people who had all lived in the barracks at one time or another– remnants of souls that had come and gone. Most had likely been shipped off to new duty assignments where they would have their picture taken again. The rows of picture-framed photographs stretched down the hallway, past the office of the commander and into a section of the barracks where the ceiling lights had been turned off because it was evening and most business of the Army had ended.

“I can’t believe you found me here.” I said, still in my bathrobe.

A devilish smile crossed her greyish-red lips as she looked deep into my wide, surprised eyes. She studied my appearance, as if she was not really sure that it was me. I felt like a picture behind the glass. She knew I had gone through with it. I had slept with a man. I lost my glow, or so she said later that evening over beers on my side of the room where we tried to talk in code just in case anyone was listening.

She glared at me briefly then relaxed her eyelids, trying to show a bit of sexiness. She was more masculine than I had remembered.

“Lisa, how did you find me?” I asked almost angrily, trying not to make a scene in front of Sgt Greer who pretended to be reading a copy of the “Stars and Stripes” newspaper at the C.Q. desk. I wrote my initials in the log book next to her name, taking full responsibility for any actions or trouble that my guest might get into during off-hours. Greer gave me a look of ‘no fucking in the barracks while I’m in charge” as I placed a pen attached to a chain back on a clipboard.

“I was stationed here first! You didn’t even notice me yesterday, did you? You little fucker! You flashed your ID card in my face at the guard booth when you came stumbling in on Sunday evening around ten o’clock. I was on guard duty at the front gate when you checked onto Fliegerhorst. I didn’t say a fucking word after I read that name on your I.D. card. How did this man show up in my life again? I asked myself. How did this skinny white-mother-fucker find me here? I watched you get out of a cab and thought– damn, he looks just like Chals. I thought I was imagining things.” She said, taking off her BDU cap because it was a requirement while standing inside a military building.

We walked down the hall towards my room.

“What are you talking about? This wasn’t my idea. Lisa,” I said before opening the door to the room. “I’m sorry I missed noticing you, but you’ve changed a lot. This is too much of a coincidence that we are stationed together again. What does God want from us?” I asked.

“Can I we talk for a minute?” She insisted. “I got one thing to say to you, then I’m out of your life for good.”

“Be careful what you say, alright?”

What would stop her from telling everyone at my new unit about my sexuality? She had done it before in Ansbach– blabbed all over the place when I confided in her. I knew her well enough to take drastic action. Despite the smiles on her face, I wasn’t sure how angry she still was at me for running away from her into the arms of a man.

Her last words to me when I saw her last were: “If you’re going to be a fucking fag, be the best at it, Chals. Remember I love you. I wish you well no matter how you ruin your life!”

“We’re never going to meet again. I’m done with you. Just stay away from me, alright?” I insisted.

“Just be a good one, alright?”

I spit on the ground and stormed away from her, angry at myself for making such a foolish mistake of telling her so much.

Our departure was far from civil. I hoped the year apart calmed her anger somewhat. I was happy to be back in the military. I didn’t want to be discharged for being gay. She was the main reason I left the Army in the first place– the rumors– people at 141 Signal Battalion spreading gossip about me as if they were sending Morse Code. Lisa spread my dirt around like fire. I had to keep her quiet in Hanau.

There was no choice but to make her fall in love with me again. I concluded I had no alternative but to cause her lose her mind for me again..

“Just let your mind go free and relax,” she would say as we got undressed and naked together on those cold, druken nights in Ansbach.

“We have to go to formation in two hours. I have to get some sleep.”

I absolutely hated her plot– “No sex, just hold me naked,” she would plead. Then she would continue to take advantage me in her bed, under wool covers.

“Think about whatever you wish,” she offered. So I did. I let my mind go, filling it with images of my true lust– faces likes those of Sgt. Greer the CQ officer who I didn’t even know. I had a photographic memory and stored images of them in my mind to use as pornography later. But with her it was not masturbation with my eyes closed under the sheets. With Lisa, it was a real tongue and finger down there, poking around in me. All I had to do was pull one of those images from the massive database on the left side of my brain and BANG! We were having sex.

The fantasies and stealing glances of others who I secretly lusted for had ranged out of control prior to meeting Lisa. Thank heavens she came into my life and showed me the light. I’ll give her credit for that, otherwise, I may have forever persecuted myself for being a homosexual.

I was still a virgin at 20. I masturbated like a machine gun every chance I had. I went through a three- month affair with Ray Parker, Jr., the singer of “Ghost Busters” when I first learned the trick of jacking off to images in my mind. I was watching Hot Tracks, a video music Channel on television in the early Eighties. I couldn’t get his sexy face out of my mind for weeks. I was hooked. Every night the ghost of Ray was in my bed. When I finally got over him and moved on to other famous men, I promised never to masturbate thinking about the same person more than once. The art can become obsessive to me. Lisa broke me out of the horrible grips of selfish-satisfaction.

I imagined making love with total strangers when she played around with my ass. I though of men who caused my breath to be invisibly sucked from within my chest. There were moments during sex with her that I lost myself and forgot it was really a girl doing tricks down there. She served as a surrogate of sorts. I grew erect and shot all over the place. She’d slap my white ass cheeks like a bitch.

I closed my eyes and let Lisa do whatever the hell it was she wanted to do with me during our ‘love making’. She stole slurps of my urination organ when it finally did get up. The mucus membrane in her mouth had the consistency of honey. She made me cry a little. I whimpered like a pussy when I came, which, if you ask me, is what turned her on the most!

I was prepared to go through with having sex with her again if it would stop her from ruining me. I didn’t want to have to leave the Army for being outed. Her face was so tense as we walked into the room. It was then I realized that she hadn’t made love to anyone since I had first left Germany. Maybe she really was in love with me. She was truly heartbroken over us. I could see it in her face. What had I done to my friend because of my selfish urges? She looked so sad and fat and the tenseness to her face almost made me whimper again. I was sorry for what I had put her through.

Surprisingly the guys left the room to give us time alone. I realized my new roommates were cool.

“I missed you too, Lisa. I never thought I would say that but I do. I miss talking to you the most. I miss our conversations and those long nights we spent together.”

“But I always did all the talking,” she reminded me.

“I know. But you always made me feel comforted and safe when you talked. I loved hearing about your life, growing up in New York.”

“Don’t do this to me again, Chals. Don’t do this…” she pleaded as I tried kissing her.

“Do what? I’m not doing anything. I didn’t ask you to stop by my barracks.”

“Stop looking at me like that. Stop it, Chals…”

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Trophy Wife



The prelude to this short story begins at this post:


Sergeant Greer knocked on the door of my room at 7 p.m. I had just returned from having dinner at the mess hall with Henry Walker. A succulent piece of meatloaf hit the spot. Private Walker settled for a heaping of baked chicken legs and instant mashed potatoes.

“Taylor, you have a visitor at the C.Q. desk,” the skinny Black non-commissioned officer stated in a serious tone as if he were about to issue an order to me. It was almost forbidden to have guests in our barracks rooms.

I was busy ironing my camouflage fatigues. I vaguely remembered seeing Sergeant Geer in P.T. formation earlier that day. He was much more handsome in spit shined boots and an evenly- pressed cap that fit his head almost like a bandana.

Greer was pulling CQ duty, a position that everyone in the unit had to fulfill from time to time. C.Q. duty ran straight for twenty-four hours. Duties involved managing company telephones and monitoring activity inside the barracks. Being in the Army was like serving hard time on occasion. There were so many strict rules to abide by. There were unnecessary control measures placed on single soldiers who lived on post. Commanders know to keep guests in the barracks to a minimum. It was against the law for any soldier to have sex on base. Strangers from outside the unit visited for one of two reasons– to drink or to have sex. With most barracks being co-ed in the mid-Eighties, living on post was similar to being in college, living in a dormitory.

I wondered who was there to visit me. I had only been in Hanau for seventy-two hours. I assumed it was Anthony Miller– the man I met in Ansbach on my first tour of duty. I hadn’t called him since arriving back in Germany. Perhaps because he had access to electronic military personnel records he was able track me down in near record time. For a moment I was nervous. What if he had come by the day I arrived, only to learn that I was not in the barracks? I was out at a gay bar, searching for strange. What was I going say to justify my absence?

Anthony was fortunate to have selected the most leisurely of military occupational specialties upon enlistment. He worked in personnel. Soldiers in his company did not operate tanks, run telephone wires as ‘cable dogs’ or shoot M–60 machine guns. They were an army of administrative assistants who ran the nation’s largest human resources department. From promotional paperwork to documenting Army Achievement Medals and Good Conduct Awards– it all came through the unit where he worked. It would have been easy for him to find out where social security number 188-54-9926 was assigned upon arrival under the command of the United States Army Europe.

I shyly walked down the hallway and passed a recreational room. I subtly stole a glance of my reflection in the glass of a trophy case that housed awards that had been issued by powerful generals to the unit in which I was now assigned. I looked good. I couldn’t wait to see Anthony. I missed him so much. I hadn’t kissed his freckled lips in almost seven months.

It wasn’t Anthony signing in at the desk. It was Lisa Payne. How did she determine where I was and how did she even know that I was back in the military?

How dare she show up unannounced! I told her that there was no future in our relationship. She was obsessed with me. I felt it best that we remember the good times and simply move on with our lives, in separate directions. I didn’t want to even remain friends with my former girlfriend, especially after what she said to my mother over the phone– long distance. I made a mistake by giving her my home telephone number when I left Ansbach for civilian life just a few months prior.

Mom did not repeat the things that Lisa said to her about my homosexuality and relationship with a married man who was also in the military.

“A girl from the Army called here for you. I told her you were at work. Is she Black?”

I never wanted to see Lisa again after noticing the look in my mother’s eyes. I knew she was shocked by something Lisa had said to her on the phone. I never pressed Mom for the details. I didn’t want to talk about it. How cruel can a woman be when she loses a lover to the opposite sex? Lisa was outright vicious and went for the jugular after I dumped her.

I should have simply ended our love affair without announcing my sexual preference. I told her because I wanted her to know that it was not her fault that it was not working out. It was nothing she had done wrong. It was true what I said to her. She certainly was a beautiful Black woman. It’s just that I wasn’t into her like she was me. I shared my deepest secret from the love of my heart, to my first true friend in life– my soul mate. That was her term for us– soul mates. It seemed real. We were born on the same day and for a moment had fallen in love but tragically for her, I was gay.

The problem was, I ate her out too good. She had an addiction for my big ‘red white-boy lips’ as she often referred to them. I told her that I didn’t want to have sex until I was married. I lapped her in luxury not from lust, but because my dick would not get hard for her. There was nothing I could do. There was pussy being thrown in my face and I wanted none of it. She didn’t know, or didn’t seem to care that I couldn’t get it up as long as my lips were doing the talking.

“I want you to marry me,” she moaned in delight. The oral sex was more of an exploratory adventure than an act of sharing to me. I felt in control of her as her legs quivered but would much rather have been dominated by a man who would likely make me feel safe and secure in his arms. That’s all I could think about– laying there like she was doing and feeling the roughness of five-o’clock shadow brush against the smoothness of my buttocks. How I envied her. The study that I was undergoing went further than it should have.

“God damn it white boy, put that big fucking dick in me, please….”

Her sweetness was thrust upon my tongue like the waves of a stormy sea crashing upon large rocks that surround a light house. I curled my tongue in a silly way. There was no desire to mount her, but I got a kick out of the way she seemed to slip into a state of delusional ecstacy when I spoke tongues into her.

Why was she at my new duty station? Hadn’t she done enough by ruining my reputation with my mother? Wouldn’t she please just go away?

Lisa was serious when she asked me to marry her. That I realized when I saw her standing in Hanau, still dressed in her Army uniform. I was just having a little fun and trying to start a new life.

A man should not have to give his soul to a woman who stole his virginity.

“Lisa! What the hell?”….

Continued Here…


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Hot Army Showers


The prelude to this short story begins at this post:



The World War II barracks of Fliegerhorst Kaserne were equipped with communal showers. I was disappointed. How I longed for the day when I would have a medicine cabinet again where I could store my toothbrush, shaving gear, deodorant and anti-wrinkle serum. This was my new home-away-from home for the next three years and I had no choice but to shower with members of my platoon. I learned to control my ‘homosexual tenancies” in places where unsuspecting heterosexual men were defenseless without clothing. It seemed only fair to keep my eyes where they belong. Despite refusing to look, my eyes stole glances from time to time, like a sweet tooth in a mouth with no cavities.

I was not the only one to ‘cruise’ in Army barracks showers. I know for a fact that it was difficult for other men to ignore what lurked under my black, leather shaving kit. Never at any moment during my military career did I get an erection while wet and naked next to my squad despite how much the men checked out what hangs here.

Females with small breasts often claim that they are content being blessed with manageable bosoms. Often they are relived that they do not have the “extra luggage” to carry around; but when competition walks by– women with nice ones– they stick out their chests subconsciously in an effort to compete in a dog-eat-dog world. Men are no different.

Our Platoon Leader, SFC Poisson took us on a five mile run my first morning at 1st of the 32nd Field Artillery Battalion. I nearly did not make it. I was coughing up phlegm, and breathing quite heavily– not a good first-impression in such a masculine profession. There were sixteen showerheads in the ‘latrine’ in the barracks– enough for all the men in the platoon to have their own sprinkler. The sensation of the steam on my skin as I got undressed felt pleasant as it opened my pores. I dropped my brown, cotton towel and pushed a button so that water would stream from above my head. Immediately chests of the men in my unit popped out as if they were going to be awarded the Bronze Star. They were acting like females who get envious at other girls with big tits.The shifting eyes were hysterical. The black men were ridiculous. The sound of gnashing teeth could be heard despite the powerful streams of water splashing all over the room. I noticed that I was the only soldier to use conditioner on my hair. Most of the Caucasian soldiers used Head and Shoulders or Suave and none of the ethnic men used shampoo on their short hair. Often, a bar of soap suited them just fine. I even condition my pubic hairs. They nearly dropped their bars of soap as I lathered up.

“Where are you from,” a short black solder with slanted eyes, a little like that of an Asian asked as I stood ass- naked, not in the least bit shameful of my nakedness.

“Pennsylvania,” I replied to the young man whose name I remembered from a tag on his uniform—‘WALKER’. I was new. All eyes and ears were on me in the showers that first morning. I knew that he wasn’t the only one who wanted to know a little more about me.

“Corn-fed,” he said under his breath, obviously referring to my physic. The other soldiers laughed. I brushed it off and quickly pulled a pair of boxer shorts over what was causing so much commotion. 

After shaving, I followed my new roommates from the showers back to the room we shared. I knew it was going to be difficult sharing space with three other men. I was the high- ranking man in the room though. I was a Specialist Four, which under Army standards put me in charge of the Privates in my room automatically.An Asian from Los Angeles, Mike Sellers asked me where I was all weekend as we got dressed in our battle dress uniform for a day’s work of repairing radios.

“I was in Ansbach,” I explained. I have a girlfriend there…”

To Be Continued



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Whip Appeal

The prelude to this short story begins at this post:



The taxi ride back to Hanau seemed to take forever. I glared at a digital meter mounted to the dashboard next to a driver who I was certain was not human. I knew I wasn’t even close to the military installation to which I had been recently assigned and the meter already read 30.00. Even if I could speak German and carry on a conversation with the driver, he didn’t seem open to casual conversation with an American soldier. I could care less. After living in their country for two years, I knew it was useless to try to befriend the natives of the land that America had in a sense taken after World War II. He seemed asleep at his job, yet he maneuvered through traffic jams with pure precision– a lot like Gillie had done inside of me the night before.

It was raining. One giant windshield wiper blade swooped back and forth on the tinted window of the BMW. I never saw that before– just one blade. In America, there were always two. What will they think of next?

The warmth from the car heater soothed me. I was terrified when I remembered that I would have to report to my first formation the next morning, yet I had not met anyone in my new unit. I didn’t have the energy for making new friends. I knew what was in store for me when I made it back to Fliegerhorst Kaserne– a few beers and chatter about where I’m from and if I had any kids and where I received my basic training. I would keep the introductory chatter to a minimum because I had so much to do and I was extremely exhausted.

My clothing still smelled of stale beer and cigarettes from the bar. Even though I took a shower before leaving the hotel, the smell of the Construction Five Disco and the sex I had with Gilly clung to me like a German made car to the Autobahn. My ass was on fire. I hoped that Gillie didn’t injure me when he showed me a trick in a chair. A slight burning sensation throbbed beneath me. I readjusted myself in the leather seat of the BMW taxi, put my head against a raindrop covered window and leaned my buttocks to the side, taking off some of the pressure…

Continued Here


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The Lover In Me

The prelude to this short story begins at this post:


(Part II)

Gillie did not look like a gifted artist and illustrator. Infantry men were not known to use the left sides of their minds during the Cold War. He wore military issue ‘birth control’ glasses that were as thick as a slice of bread. His vision was so poor that he risked military discharge for being visually handicapped. He wasn’t wearing glasses in the club on the night I met him. I wasn’t initially attracted to him because inside the club, under the neon lights and disco balls, the green contact lenses seemed a bit extreme– so gay, I thought. Clark Kent and Gillie D. Wells, Jr. are the only two men to have walked the planet who looked handsome in black, rectangular glasses, such as those the military issued to its service men in the late 1980’s.

He took me back to his barracks in Steinbach on Sunday morning, following a night we spent together in a hotel located on post at Division Headquarters in downtown Frankfurt. With the dollar losing its purchasing power, it was expensive to rent a room in a guesthouse in Germany. As service men, we were entitled to a huge discount at a four- star hotel the military operated for dignitaries and officials traveling in and out of Frankfurt. For just $60 a night, guests with military identification relaxed in the comforts of plush white cotton towels and 600 count white sheets.

I knew we were falling in love. We didn’t want to say good-bye so soon on Sunday morning and go back to our green uniforms and military duties. The sex was so good. We made it for at least five hours and would have continued at it if the other guys from the club were not sharing the same hotel room with us.

“I’m taking a taxi back to base. I wish you would come with me,” he casually asked as he packed a few of his things inside an overnight travel bag. I was disappointed that he did not bring out the handcuffs I saw in his bag.

I had things to do. I had not even unpacked after re-arriving back in Deutschland at my new duty station, but I took him up on the offer. No one had ever made me feel such release. I had enough cash to take a taxi back to post. At least I wouldn’t have to try to figure out the train maps back to Hanau.

He introduced me to two white service men who shared his barracks room as we walked to a far wall near a window where his bunk was located. He pulled a Canson Esquisse sketch pad from under the mattress of his bed and showed me his drawings. I was floored. The details of his sketches were intense. They were cartoon strips, as one may see in a newspaper, but done in exquisite detail. Science fiction at its best. Without reading the captions he had written, the story had been told. The drawings spoke for themselves.

I felt guilty for assuming he was a grunt with no artistic merit. When he told me he was infantry I thought I had a dumb stupid straight-like guy who I could easily mold. But Gillie was incredibly gifted.

“I love to sketch. This is a story about a female super hero with the power of mind control,” he explained. I carefully peeled each piece of linen-like paper and adored the mediaeval theme which graced the pages.

“I like to take photographs too. There is a dark room here on base that I use. Here are my cameras,” he said while pulling a large black bag from his wall locker.

I wanted to tell him about me, about my writing, but it didn’t seem important at the time. He was so far out of my league. It wouldn’t have mattered what foolish words stumbled out of my red, worn out lips. Why was he showing me so much about himself, I wondered at first, but moments later realized that he was perfect and incredibly sexy out of his contact lenses. I wanted to kiss him again, right there, in front of the men who shared his barracks room. Finally I could see his golden brown eyes through the magnification of his Army glasses. I almost melted. The eyes are windows to the soul.

I felt a glow all around me and the moment seemed as if it were predestined. Had I met this man in a previous life? The stories he had created– his art– it was shocking. I looked just like the character of a knight that was sketched within his art. The drawings were created before meeting me at the C-5 Disco. He realized I saw the connection. I felt like he was God who spoke the name of Adam in the Garden of Eden and I was Eve, a rib. I remained silent and didn’t say much. I just took it all in. To be in the presence of such a master. My head was still spinning from a night of heavy lovemaking. There was no misinterpreting what was in his sketches though– those lips and the gap in the teeth which existed behind– the ones that could be seen only when the character smiled. I think I did when I saw the connection from his cartoon strips.

“I want to be with you again,” he said, as if we had done something sinisterly evil, yet worth doing again. I sensed his fear that he may never see me again, so I agreed to pose for a photograph on his Army bunk.

“I have a girlfriend,” I explained to him. I did. I wasn’t lying. Her name– Lisa Payne. She was a girl I met on my first tour of duty. The Black girl with a Bronx attitude was still in Germany and couldn’t wait to see me again. I told him about her to make him jealous and I know how appealing it is for gay guys to be with a man who is also with women. I needed Gillie to fall in love with me so I told him that she was my girlfriend…

Continued Here…


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The dollar had fallen substantially. In 1986 one could be exchanged for two German Marks. By 1988 the rate dropped nearly in half. Despite the reduced purchasing power, I was happy to be back in Germany in the Army again. I had no choice but to reenlist. Civilian life was not what I had imagined and so much had gone wrong in my life.

An internship at the “Huntingdon Daily News” was the only positive aspect of my life during the summer of 1988 following an honorable discharge from my first tour of duty in the Army. Josephine McMeen, one of the editors of the paper and a relation to its owners tried to convince me to dedicate my life to writing and journalism. Her strong words of praise and appearing on the front page of the paper was not enough to inspire me to remain a civilian writer. I wasn’t even twenty-one yet and I couldn’t go to bars, let alone gay ones. I wanted out of that little town and to get away from my family once and for all. At least in the Army life seemed worth writing about. There is only so much a by-line does for a writer’s soul.

The gay bar scene in State College was a bore. The men who went to Chumley’s were not my type. I took the time to explore State College that summer. I wanted to know what I would be getting into. The writing was on the wall on the exposed brick of that small town gay bar– “Be All You Can Be!”

I had developed a taste for butch dudes, especially Army men, and I knew before entering the doors of Penn State that obtaining an education there would result in a bad case of writer’s block.

Mom kicked me out of the house that summer. She made me leave the nest becaus a guy that I knew from the Army called me every day. She thought that was weird.

“I hope that there is nothing more between the two of you than being just friends,” she threatened, “because if there is, you are not welcome here anymore.”

I quickly packed a bag and as I left the house I asked, “What would you know about having friends?”

I went to live with Dad who was still drinking heavily at the time. He put me out too. If I had only waited two more months, school at Penn State would have begun. My Army College Fund and the G.I. bill was about to kick in. Housing would not have been an issue. I was tired of sleeping in the back of my car. Thankfully, Gerri Wakefield, a woman who worked as a receptionist at the ‘Daily News’ took me in until I could get my head together.

“I’m sorry to hear that you and your family are not getting along, Charlie. Why not just stay with me? I have a big farm house and my daughter is never home anyway. There’s lots of room. You are just going through a bad time. Now stop crying. The reporters in the newsroom will start asking questions,” she advised.

“Just for a few weeks,” I said while wiping my tears. “I am going to re-enlist in the Army.”

“What? You can’t do that!”

“Yes I can and I will. I don’t think I want a life back here in Huntingdon after all. Dad kicked me out of the house. He claims that I stole his girlfriend’s rent money. You and I both know that Dad was the one who took that money to go drinking on,” I explained while sitting behind a computer with green letters on a monitor. Gerri knew my father. Any girl who went out to a bar in Huntingdon knew who Barry Taylor was. Prior to working at the Daily News, I had never met Gerri, but in a strange way, because of my father’s reputation with girls from the town’s real newsroom, she seemed like a step-mother to me and she took me in until the paperwork was final.

The Army promised me assignment in Germany. That’s all I wanted at the time– to be near Anthony. Germany is not that big and I could get a car and travel the Autobahn to see him when I needed to. There was structure in the Army. That I appreciated. Never did I have to worry if the roof above my head was going to fly away.

They assigned me to a field artillery unit near Hanau, a town not too far from Frankfurt– the largest city in the free western portion of the divided nation. Finally, it was legal for me to go into a bar again. A city as big as Frankfurt must surely have a gay bar in it, I realized.

I didn’t bother exchanging a hundred dollars or so into German Marks my first night back in Germany. I knew my way around even though I didn’t speak the language. It was not necessary to go to a bank to obtain Marks when one was conducting monetary transactions near military installations. Even taxi drivers accepted green dollar bills for rides to places like the ‘bahnhof’– the train station. That is exactly where I was headed to– the train station and to downtown Frankfurt. Surely the gods would be with me now, considering that terrible summer in Huntingdon. It had been so long since I had been in a town where nobody knew my name, where reputations were silly things to consider. Finally I was away from the gossip of a small town with just one newspaper.

The taxi ride from Fliegerhurst Kaserne to the train station cost me $10. There was a subway station in Frankfurt. The maps written in German confused me. A blonde man with blue eyes dressed like the lead singer from Duran Duran stood next to me studying the map.

“Where’s the gay bar?” I asked balefully.

He was offended, obviously fluent in English, but not gay like I thought.

“I think you want to go here,” the young man said while pointing to the market district of the big city.

“Thank you. I’m sorry for thinking…”

“It’s alright,” he said, blowing my insult off. “I think the bar is called ‘The Construction Five’. Gruss Got.”

I rode a long escalator from the underground subway system and was surprised to see street cars. A café across the street caught my eye– cappuccino– it had been so long since I had one. The Starbucks craze had yet to hit America, but the Europeans had been enjoying them for years. Besides the men, I missed European cafes. There were lots of men sitting at small round tables outside. They too were dressed like Simon Lebon. I knew I was getting close.

The Construction Five was just around the corner. I group of three older German men were more than happy to show me the place. They were headed that way too. I was shocked that I was able to find a gay bar in an unknown town so quickly. I realized how owners of the bar decided on its name. There was a tunnel, similar to the one that cuts through the Appalachian mountains along the Pennsylvania Turnpike built inside the huge underground bar. Flashing strobe lights and pumping music created an ambiance of a construction work site. The round aluminum tunnel ceiling above made everyone look and feel incredibly sexy.

The bar was filled with lots of American soldiers. There were at least three hundred G.I.’s dancing in the club. I never expected to see so many. A dude who looked just like the R&B singer Baby Face stood next to me for at least twenty minutes before introducing himself–

“Nice bottie,” he said under his breath.

I smiled as we walked together to the dance floor.

This short story is continued within this post:





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Twenty-Seven Lives

Smokey is gone. The plush tabby that has lived in the basement under my apartment for several years failed to appear for his daily dish of Nine Lives “Super Supper” for two days in a row. Smokey wouldn’t miss a meal for the world!Obviously, the feline was abused at one point in his life because he fears humans more than a man with Schizophrenia. I never had the opportunity to even stroke his pretty light-grey fur. He would run if I came within two steps of his raccoon like tail.

On warm summer evenings he ate from a bowl that I placed on the window ledge in the spare bedroom. His courage started to grow as did his belly, after realizing that Bradley and I were not going to hurt him. Eventually he started coming inside the apartment and helped himself to the bowl of dry cat food that was placed out for our two domesticated cats, “Link” and “Baby Girl.”

With the weather turning colder, we could no longer keep the bedroom window cracked for all three cats to come and go as they pleased. Only in the evenings do we open it for the indoor cats to go out for fresh air and for Smokey to smolder inside to fill his belly.

Baby Girl was once an outdoor cat too. She came from the same vacant lot adjacent to my backyard as Smokey originated. Baby Girl took a liking to humans. Unlike Smokey, she moved in the moment she discovered the comforts of shedding on white sofas and the trill of living with humans who are suckers for meows of hunger.

Bradley’s fingers have been crossed for years in hopes that Baby Girl would get pregnant. She’s not fixed. We spotted Smokey putting the fire to Baby Girl on the pool table one afternoon when the bedroom window was open.

Smokey is not fixed either. We thought for sure we would have even more cats after seeing the eight ball go in. Link, the cat that has been fixed, sat politely in the spare bedroom and watched, in a twisted three-some way.

Smokey’s disappearance may have something to do with Bradley’s mistake of opening the spare bedroom window at 3 a.m. two nights ago. Baby Girl was crying in heat. We had no choice. We opened the window and set her free to get what it is that a girl needs.

Baby Girl returned with a glow about her, but Smokey has not been seen since.

Perhaps he is pussy whipped.

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