The lousy part of being a young ‘Crackerjack’ in the land of Great Mistakes was nobody seemed to give two shits about you! You were just another number… a face in the crowd, far from anything special! At least that’s the feeling I got… especially after the initial break up with ‘my’ Suzie Rotten-crotch, countless phone calls, the ‘Dear John’ letter, and a week of Unauthorized Absence with a thumb in the air all the way south to Auburndale, Florida!! Yeah, I’d about got my ass kicked out for my indiscretions… but that’s another story!! Essentially, if you showed up to Quarters in the morning… did your classwork… and kept your uniform intact… that’s all anyone really seemed to give a shit about!!!
I’d already threaded a yarn on the ol’ Dear John’ letter… and I had mine! Shortly after my heart was broken and I was still reeling from the perfumed calligraphy and lipstick letters, I was out prowling the local streets look’n for a gal to latch onto! But the women of the Great Mistakes variety were hard to come by outside the gates!! Most wanted nothing to do with a foul mouthed young Sailor a thousand miles away from home!! Most gals wouldn’t give a young ‘Crackerjack’ the time of day in those parts… we were looked upon like dirty ol’ dogs with the mange!! At least that’s the feeling I’d got from the place…
“Where do we go to get a big tittied blonde willing to partake in a few hours of horizontal refreshment?”
… as if I was expecting to hook up with a young innocent gal willing to do bizarre stuff with a stranger that has nowhere to call home! I’d imagine many a ‘Crackerjack’ spent a year or so in pure celibacy there in the Great Lakes arena over the years… Unless you were look'n for monetary compromise with one of the ladies walk’n the street, you’d almost have to rely on the gals in uniform there on base… been there & done that, but I was too damned curious of the civilian types out on the town!!!
I’d played my hand on a few occasions with a couple of lookers but it seemed like I might as well had been a leper who escaped the colony being a ‘Crackerjack’ in those parts! Most of the local gals just didn’t care for us squidly types… for whatever the reason it wasn’t for lack of trying… and it sure as hell was a lot harder than it was back home!!!
Then the moment came so unexpectedly! After a day of hack’n golf balls outta sand bunkers with a couple shipmates we acquired a case of beer at the package store for a little underage alcoholic consumption up at the Waukegan Edison Plant on the waterfront… we’d figured it was a perfect place to sit on the tailgate and drink a few brewskies!
After settl’n in I’d looked down the way and there was this gal that caught my eye… she was a picture of enchanting beauty! I’d never been a fan of ‘Red Headed’ women but she had the most beautifully inflamed locks… devilish green eyes… and the fairest skin of a cherub angel… a true attribute to God’s great work!! A starry-eyed sweetheart, she was quite frankly the epitome of an Irish Princess… kind of like a shot of wet dream déjà vu!!!
Her name was Meggam, and she was the measure of many a wet dream at that I can attest! After a few dates and getting to know her well we field tested her Ford Tempo with the brandy colored seats out in the shadows of some housing development on the west side of town!! We did the horizontal mambo… play’n backseat gymnastics while giving the monkey a banana as young lovers may do!! I think we broke a few wires under the dashboard and stretched out some panty elastic to an extraordinary degree!! That kind of silly nonsense made things a lot of fun… sounds silly now, but at that age it was all a big thrill and brand new!!!
We’d lay in the backseat for hours just wrapped around each other while fogg’n up all the windows in self-induced humidity made of perspiration and heavy panting! Not always exactly thoughtful to our choice of locations… sometimes in the Mall parking lot… or down on the docks… some deserted drive way … once at a red light, it didn’t matter much ‘cause that’s just the way it was at nineteen years old!! Like I said, everything was for the first time and brand new!!!
Sometimes looking back I wonder what made us click so well! We were opposites in so many ways as she was liberally progressive and I had grown up under conservative circumstances! She was feministic and I was full of male induced testosterone and ego!! And you could bet your thirteen button crackerjack bottom blues she could be just as ornery and hot-tempered as a pissed off wild cat!! She was independent and didn’t like to be told what to do… stubborn and strong-willed yet bold and intelligent, and extremely passionate!! She could be an ornery cuss who refused to reconcile with defeat… and we’d sometimes argue til’ the sun came up about anything from politics to religion and anything else under the sun… I was a George Bush Senior fan and she was a Michael Dukakis fan… she was pro-choice, me not so much!!
She was feministically empowered and I thought testoserone should rule the world with an ‘Iron Fist’… yet she always saw the humor and seemed to appreciate my point of view even if it didn’t fit into her brand of thinking!! She knew how to exercise reciprocal respect and didn’t get fazed by the ups & downs of our little debates of competitive dialogue… not usually anyway!! Yes, we had our differences, but the only time I can remember really pissing her off?!?
Meg was the kind of gal… real easy to talk too! We’d have marathon sessions on the telephone!! I’m talking til’ 0200 in the morning kind of conversations when you gotta be up at 0600 to be on time for class!! I don’t think I’d ever met a gal I could just talk to forever and not get enough!! Well, one evening the conversation led to the fascination in a woman’s virginity…
“You’re a guy… so what is it about a woman’s virginity that entices men so much?”
“Oh I don’t know… innocence, maybe the idea of being that first guy?”
… Seconds later the phone slams on the other end revealing a very angry woman!! Obviously this was a sore subject… she wasn’t a virgin when we met and apparently I made her feel less special…
Boy I could just feel it in my bones… she just led me like a lamb into the slaughter! I knew I’d pissed her off and I could probably spend the rest of my time here wondering what the hell happened!! She was all over me like flies on shit! She was one hell of a debater and glided me right into this argument using both her talents and vixen like personality to put me in such a gauddamned conundrum!! All I knew was I wanted outta that conversation like a fat kid play’n dodge ball!! And that’s when you know you’re in a true relationship… when you start to test one another!!
Yeah… she was madder than a blind lesbian in a fish market… but at the end of the conversation I somehow persuaded her to come to base and give me some sugar! It was one of them kiss and make up kind’a situations!!!
Then the time had come when I’d gotten my orders to San Diego… probably, and for good reason, one of the small details as to why them local girls didn’t like gett’n too close to us sailor types!! At the time Meg had told me before I left…
“I’ll follow you to the ends of the Earth… all you have to do is say so… you know I would.”
But she had a good future ahead of her and I knew I’d only keep her down! Besides, this was probably the only meaningful relationship I’d had with someone that ended on a good note!! When I left she gave me something to remember her by … a gesture I held on to for some time!!!
We continued to write for a spell… but somewhere, somehow we lost touch… lost what we had! I could no longer count on those sweet letters in the mail as time unraveled things and we’d went our separate ways!!!
But every so often… every once in a great while… I get that feel good shiver in the back of my neck running down my spine… when an old memory of a young Irish Princess who made life in the back of an old Ford Tempo in the wee hours of the night the only care I had in the world… forgetting about everything else but living in the moment!!!