18 April 2011

All The Way...


"In my life there have been few
who've affected me the way you do
(you do, you do)"

Pet Shop Boys
It Always Come As A Surprise

The news of a whore house in Spring Lake spread through the barracks like wild fire on the Serengeti. Spring Lake bordered Ft. Bragg to the north and was home to the poor, enlisted and hundreds, if not thousands of mobile homes - of which one double wide, The Devil's Playground, was doing a booming business.

There was talk of a woman nicknamed, 'The Screamer.' She'd shout profanity laden descriptions of what she wanted, and that sounded pretty darned good to me, seeing I was 19 and all the screaming I heard had to do with what I was doing wrong.

A bunch of us climbed into someones car and after an hour of searching a trailer park in the dark, we found a double wide that fit the description. We also found a line for the screamer that reminded me nothing was a secret long at Ft. Bragg.

The Madam of the house took my military ID and paper clipped it to an index card which she filed under 'T' in a gray metal box. I sat down on a folding chair in the shag carpeted living room and watched TV with the line, my buddies and two huge black staff sergeants still in fatigues and providing security.

The Madam had a body that said, "Go Airborne" but 40 miles of bad road on her face. Her hair was jet black along with her disposition. She was not happy with the line and started asking if anyone wanted a date with her. No one moved. Feeling sorry for her (and being at the end of the line), I raised my hand like it was first grade.

I could hear the screamer as I watched the Madam undress in a tiny bedroom. A red rose tattoo covered her belly button and a tattooed green stem with thorns traveled all the way down to what she called her pot of dirt. Afterwards, she returned my ID and punched a hole in the index card. "Get to 10 and you get a freebie." she said.

I'd go back for the Screamer but the Madam would smile when she saw me, hand me a beer and whisper something amazingly filthy in my ear. I came to know Rose well and was something of a regular. Besides, I was pretty sure the screamer was full of crap - what with the screaming taking on an all too repetitive pattern.

I found a woman who'd actually go out with me and quit going to the Devil's Playground. A year or so later, I saw Rose having breakfast at IHOP with a woman who looked to be her mother. Rose looked at me for a good three or four seconds, and without any expression, turned back to her mother. I never saw Rose again but more than anything, I remember her eyes -- Big and dark and able to see every mistake I ever made or would make.

22 comments:

Unclelooney said...

Well I guess my Wisconsin Dells anecdotes won't seem to impressive after that.

Main Line Sportsman said...

A bold disclosure....

Unclelooney said...

You should have worked "pressed to the marrow" into that story.

the nyanzi report said...

I was hooked from the first sentence.

ann said...

Great story! Pot of dirt & buy ten and the next one free. Perfect.

tintin said...

unclelooney-
Just one of the things you miss by not serving in the armed forces.

Main Line- Hardly bold. It's been told too many times but it's screaming to be made into a screenplay...or at least a broadway play.

unclelooney- You wanna work for me?

Nyanzi report- I could always write a lead. It's the rest I have problems with.

Alice Olive said...

40 miles of bad road on her face. Oh, that's vivid.

tintin said...

Ann- My hope was for a down beat ending.

tintin said...

Olive- That's what I like about you -- you've never heard these cliches before.

T said...

I love the fact that you tagged this post with "Prostitutes."

...not sure you got the downbeat ending you were hoping for, but the post DOES possess a kind of Hemingwayesque neutrality that leaves you thinking "should I feel slightly depressed now? I'm not sure..."

Oyster Guy said...

Tin, is this post inspired by your recent Talese encounter or was it the other way around !?!?!?!?!

tintin said...

Oyster Guy- No, I'm being paid by the army to recruit 11 Bravos.

Buzz said...

Traditional free time activities. Nice to read.

TC said...

Reminds me of this stripper at Sharky's on Bragg Blvd. (I'm youngish, so I'm not sure if that fine establishment was around in your day, tintin.) She had - has? pretty sure she's still there, though it's been over a year now since I left - a giant set of jump wings tattooed on the upper half of her back And below, right above the tailbone: "JUMPERS, HIT IT!"

You can't make this stuff up. But around the 'ville, you don't have to.

Probably some general's daughter.

tintin said...

Buzz, Exactly.

TC, Didn't know Sharkey's but I'm guessing there's not too much difference from the the strip joints I patronized.

You sum up nicely. I have so many bizarre stories about Bragg and its environs. Not only as an enlisted man but as as a brat.

Very different points of view but they somehow come together. It's a place I like to visit but never wanna live.

greatzamboni said...

Untouchable piece.

Anonymous said...

You're a good writer, dude.

TRAWETS NILTGEOV said...

"her pot of dirt."

Patsy said...

Did you quit the Devil's Playground before or after you got to 10?

tintin said...

Zambo - Pun intended?

Anon- Thanks and don't call me dude.

Stew- Yep. I'm telling you we could write a screenplay outta this.

Patsy- I quit before. I wonder what became of that little gray box.

Zach said...

This post sure makes me realize that I missed out on the military. The only thing I enjoy more than violence is the sexual exploitation of women.

tintin said...

Zach- Sadly, violence and the sexual exploitation of women are not limited to the military. Your missing out on nothing as a civilian.