Specialist Murray was up for promotion. She had been in the army for more than five years and had yet to make the rank of sergeant. The gold teeth in her mouth clashed with the camoflauge she wore and she was one of the last women in the world to use jheri curl juice in her hair. It did not strike me as odd that it had taken her so long to make the rank of E-5. She was what drill sergeants in basic training called a “rag bag”.
I was rather fond of Specialist Murray and considered her a friend. On field training exercises in the woods of Bavaria, she often stopped by my teletype rig late at night for a hot cup of coffee or to share stories of growing up in Alabama.
It seemed the moment Specialist Murray got word that she had made enough points to be promoted, she started to show her black ass. My section chief, another black woman, put Murray in charge of the teletype operators—there were three of us and we were all white, and all shared the same room in the barracks.
One morning, following formation, Specialist Murray inspected our room in the barracks. The promotable specialist decided to “write us up” for having a messy room. She stated in her report that there were “beer cans all over the floor”. I was upset because I did not drink. Specialist Murray knew this because I shared this with her over coffee in my rig one cold January night.
What the Specialist did not know was that my lover, Anthony, worked in the military personnel office, and had been assigned the case of promoting Specialist Murray.
Anthony picked me up for lunch the day I was written up by Specialist Murray. Soon after giving my lover a blow job while driving down the Autobaun on our way to McDonald’s, I shared my frustration with being written up by the woman with the gold in her mouth.
“She thinks she’s the shit now that she’s about to be promoted,” I noted.
“Oh, I know the cunt. I’ll take care of this!” My lover promised.
Specialst Murray was not promoted on the 1st of October, as was projected. It seemed there was a paperwork issue with one of the classes she had taken to earn promotion points.
Several weeks later, Murray approached me and stated, “I know you have a relationship with Specialist Miller at the MilPo. Everyone knows about you. I’ve never made an issue about this with you, nor has anyone else. How dare you use your influence over him to ruin my career!” She yelled.
“I have no idea what you are talking about. What are you saying, Specialist Murray?” I asked.