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.
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.
“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.
To Be Continued