'Billy Bad- Ass Williams' was a trouble maker and hated the military as much as my boyfriend and I. He was as cute as an E-2 stripe, but as straight as they come.
He was a cocky guy who almost everyone wanted to knock down a peg or two. We didn't. My lover and I saw through his troubles with authority figures and adopted him as a friend... one of the few we allowed inside our secretive military relationship.
'So tell me... do you guys really fuck each other up the ass or do you just give blow jobs?'
Anthony laughed hysterically but neither one of us answered his question right away. It was nice to have a friend to be 'out' with... someone who we could confess our love to... an ear to bend, a witness to our relationship.
Billy was in my platoon. We worked side- by- side on military maneuvers. He was a skilled generator mechanic and could repair a malfunctioning machine with his eyes closed. When my generator went down, Billie gave me priority on his repair list and I rewarded him with cigarettes.
'Bill... if you know you smoke, why do you come to the field without a supply of smokes?'
'I thought I was going to quit... but it's too stressful out here in the woods, Taylor.'
One cold January night Billy knocked on the door of my radio teletype rig and asked to come inside to get warm. I heated up some hot water and made him some instant coffee which I served to him in my own canteen cup.
He started to cry. He said his section chief, Sargent Greer was fucking with him and he had enough. He claimed he was going to take a screw driver and kill the 'Black fucker' that night. I believed him and had to do something to stop the impending murder.
I leaned against the typewriter encryption device and it made a few clicking sounds because I had accidently pressed a few of the keys.
'I don't think you should let them get to you like that Billy. It's not that serious.'
'I'm going to run this fucking screw driver up his big fat nose and stab that fucker in the brain.'
'And what will that solve, Bill? You'll end up in a military prison somewhere and spend your life rotting away over someone who really does not matter anyway. Choose life,' I said while handing him a pack of Newports.
'I'm tired of them saying I'm stupid, Taylor. I'm tired of it!'
He calmed down a little and wiped off the tears from his eyes with his greasy hand.
'Here! Your hands are dirty, don't rub your eyes with them. Use this,' I offered while handing him a clean brown t-shirt from my duffle bag.
He rubbed my crew-cut hair... his way of showing me affection without being gay.
'Mother fucker, get your filthy hands out of my hair.'
He laughed. 'Taylor, you are such a big pussy, do you know that?'
'Fuck you, ass wipe! Stop messin' up my hair!'
I poured him a little hot water to freshen up the coffee he had been crying into and we spent the night playing cards until the LT yelled on the intercom...
'Has anyone seen Williams? My generator just went down.'
'See what I mean?' He asked.
'You're just being paranoid. They're not making you run around for nothing.'
'How is his intercom working if his generator was down?'
'Just stay calm, Billy. Stay calm. He's probably calling you from another rig. You can crash out in here with me tonight. They're too lazy to walk up here to look for you.'
'Are you sure?'
'Just relax,' I said while turning off the florescent lights.
The green strobe from the modem created the environment he was comfortable in and I helped him to forget about both Sargent Greer and the LT for a little while.