Showers at Barton Barracks in Ansbach, Germany were time regulated. Soldiers with soapy eyes reached for buttons to push upon slick white tiles that covered these communal baths. Every two minutes or so, the water stopped. With bars of soap in young, push-up strong hands, the men cried “Oh hell” and reached out for a button that would release more hot water from above.
There was no method to regulate water temperature. These barracks that had been renovated following Ward War II seemed designed to dishearten the spirits of the modern American soldier stuck dripping in cool Bavarian air. We were defending a land that the Nazi’s once ruled and had to pray for more hot water.
Terry cloth robes were my passion. At least three hung within my wall locker in room 203, just steps away from the Army latrine and the secluded shower room. Into the shower room I crept quite often. It was best to take showers alone; it seemed the showers stayed on longer and the water was often warmer when multiple showerheads were not running at the same time. At least in there, I could sing.
A Tina Turner cassette tape of “Break Every Rule” was kept in a boom box that I often carried while wearing my bath robes down the highly polished stone floors of Barton Barracks.
Two other soldiers were already there pushing those silver buttons over and over. I turned on the music and stepped alongside my fellow soliders. The song “Typical Male” came on and I began to sing and dance, somewhat like Tina Turner.
These two men, Pvt. Tamburro and Specialist Taylor were not gay, but they did enjoy my show. I did not know they were watching; there was soap in my eyes.
The men, one black and one Italian were rubbing their cocks. Tamburro’s pubic hair was just like that of the tight Italian curls on his head. He had freckles- a sign that perhaps he picked up some Irish blood while growing up in Pittsburg. His dick had nothing to do with being Irish.
Danny Taylor, whose name I shared, had skin darker than the grease he worked in as an Army mechanic all day. He needed to take showers; that seemed for sure, but never had I bumped into him in the shower before. He was rather husky, stood quite tall, but his body was proportioned like a tank. The head of his penis was pink—like the skin around my own toes.
I quickly ran from the shower, despite the fact that I had only pushed the metal button a few times, and “Break Every Rule” had yet to play all the way through. Soap still dripped from me. I had an erection and thought for sure they’d all find out I was gay in the Army.
Tamburro and Taylor never said a word. When I’d see them again in the shower, it seemed as if we had never showered together before.