|A Day Of Rest
by Greg Scott
All the usual stuff about you must be old enough in your jurisdiction, etc. In other words, if you are underage, don't read this unless you have a really cool teacher who assigned it. Otherwise, come back in a few years, when nobody will yell at you.
This is another of my true stories, except that this time, I have changed one name. That's all that has been changed, though.
I would be 22 in a few days. Where I was, it seemed like a long time ago that I had finished high school and headed off to college. While there I majored in industrial partying. That was about the only exam that I passed, which was a major reason for my current address.
The President, whom I hadn't even met, thought that I should see a bit more of the world. I thought that strange as I had already visited most of North America and Europe, so I was fairly well traveled already for a guy my age.
The U.S. president, though, believed that it was essential for me to see a bit of Southeast Asia to round out my cultural education. After teaching me some new skills that would serve me well later in life--skills such as crawling through mud on my belly, mastering the difficult concept of pulling a small ring out of a hand grenade and answering "Yes, sir" or "Yes, Sergeant" to particularly stupid questions--off I went to a once beautiful land.
My countrymen were apparently grateful for my departure, because they cheered my purpose as I left. While I was away, they changed their collective mind, deciding that I should have stayed home after all. I couldn't have agreed more, except I wished that they had come to that conclusion prior to my departure.
Here I was, then, a grunt, as we were sometimes called. It was not what I had thought of as my destiny. I had been there nearly six months, and I had spent a grand total of six days in what was referred to as my base camp.
Base camp for me was near a lovely city called Tay Ninh. My whole time there so far had been spent within a forty or fifty mile perimeter of the city and the ugly camp, but I rarely got back to that magical land of hot showers and warm food. Instead I spent most nights perched on a small dike in the middle of a dark rice paddy or propped up against a tree in the midst of a beautifully tended rubber plantation, looking for wayward people out walking where they shouldn't have been walking.
The night belonged to me. I owned it, and my orders were to let no native share it with me. Sometimes of course, others would try to sneak by on an adjacent dike. The result: A few moments of quiet adrenalin followed by the sounds of exploding mortar shells that I had beckoned. They were my prey who were hoping to become the predators of my comrades just a couple kilometers away.
The days I spent moving from one place to another between short naps to try to get some of the sleep that I couldn't enjoy at night. On good days, we might stay in one place long enough to pour water on one another in a makeshift shower. I watched my friends get wet, soap themselves and then get sufficiently wet again to rinse away the soap and a bit of the grime that covered us all.
I had always thought that watching a man shower was erotic, and I would think that again years later. These images were not erotic; they were desperate. We were all desperate, in fact, to feel some measure of cleanliness to remind us of what remained of our humanity.
But on this particular day, this day that I have chosen to share with you, one day of three hundred sixty days spent immersed not in the culture of Southeast Asia but in the millenia old culture of war--on this particular day, something unexpected happened. Our commanding officer told us that we were going to go in to base camp for a six day stand down.
A stand down was a time for the unit to regroup. We definitely needed fresh men to replace those who had been injured, killed or rotated back to the States. We needed to rest. Our equipment needed to be cleaned, repaired or replaced. But it was not details of military preparedness that occupied the fantasies of my colleages.
"I'm going to sleep for five days and spend one getting drunk," announced one.
"I'm heading to the shower as soon as we get in and I'm not turning it off until there is no more hot water in all of Tay Ninh province," declared another.
"I'm gonna get me some sweet nookie off one of the cute little gooks in the mess hall," bragged a third.
I just wanted to read my paperback without worrying about a bullet whizzing past...after that shower, of course. I didn't announce that, though, as it would have sounded quite boring to my men.
The helicopters landing at the chopper pad at camp layered even more dust onto us before we made our way to our building and quickly to the shower building the equivalent of a block away. Our showers were long enough that the water from the huge tank above the boiler had started to chill significantly, but even that felt good. Of course, let's face it, no water in Viet Nam was exactly frigid.
No, I didn't gaze lustily at the short and long, skinny and thick, cut and uncut, and white and brown and black cocks that were being soaped. I didn't imagine myself with my mouth locked around one of my buddies' anxious members. I didn't fantasize about JimJim's thick lips locked around my juicy, eager dick or Bammy's thick dong shoved up my chute. I thought only about the luxury of finally being able to get clean, to scrape off months old caked mud, to get who knows whatever off my scalp.
Once back at our under used barracks, most of the men started to depart to go buy something before the PX closed for the day, or to head to the snack bar for a coke with real ice or maybe even to track down the sweet nookie in the mess hall. I laid on my bunk and opened my book.
A guy I didn't recognize came in. I later learned that he was the batalion clerk. "Hey, Sergeant Scott," he said. "Some guy came around looking for you today."
I said, "Are you sure he was looking for me. I don't know anyone here."
"Yeah, I told him you were coming in, and he said he'd come back tonight."
I was sure there had been some sort of mix-up. The only people I knew were in my unit; they had been in the field with me, so they couldn't have been looking for me. Never the less, I had this urgent feeling that I had missed something, and I hope that whoever it was would come looking again so that I could be certain that it was simply a case of mistaken identity.
Another sergeant asked if wanted to go with him to the NCO club. I told him that I was just going to hang around the barracks and relax. I was looking for a night of sleep for a change.
Some of the men of lesser rank had learned that the South Korean NCO club which was in the ROK (Republic of Korea) compound adjacent to ours welcomed all U.S. soldiers regardless of rank, so they invited me to go there with them, since they couldn't get into the U.S. NCO club to drink. I passed on that invitation as well.
Just about the time I was starting to reopen my book, in walked one of my best high schoool friends. Michael and I had been jack off buddies and hung around a bit with our pants up, too.
Astonished is too mild a word for my reaction to seeing him. I had known that he was in the country, but the last I had heard about him he had been much farther north working in a motor pool or some such thing.
We embraced, then just stood at arms length looking at each other. It was indescribable to see somebody from our home thousands of miles away. He looked great, but he always had. The army and war seemed to agree with him. I remember thinking that I was glad that he hadn't seen me before the shower had made me presentable. It's funny the things you think of at times like these.
He took me to his hootch, slang for what passed as an abode. From the outside it was a shack; from the inside it looked like the set of some overdone sixties, pychadelic movie, only I had not yet seen such a movie as those films were just beginning to be made.
He shared the hootch with three other guys, who greeted me exuberantly, which is to say that they nodded almost imperceptibly in my direction through the dense haze. I gathered that in their state, that was as much enthusiasm as they could muster.
The room was dimly lit, in a variety colors, with one lamp emitting red illumination, another amber and a third a hazy blue. Each had a tasseled shade that was askew, or perhaps it was the whole room that was tilted. Nothing in the room seemed straight; not the furniture, not the walls and definitely not the men.
After my warm reception, Michael led me through a curtain of beads into his room. It looked like a whorehouse, or at least as I imagined a whorehouse would look. Everything was colors and frills, but at least nothing seemed to be leaning as it had in the other room.
Michael led me to the bed, where he motioned for me to sit. He got us each a beer from his little refrigerator. It seemed incongruous to me that he would have a refrigerator when I had been so grateful for hot water only a few hours before. There are degrees of luxury, and a refrigerator seemed at the top of the scale.
We talked about our wars. No, the plural form I chose in the previous sentence is not an error, for every soldier experiences his own war in his own way. Wars, probably most major events, have multiple realities.
Our wars were very different from each other. Michael's war was a multi-colored event, at some times placid with his own refrigerator, all the beer he could drink and all the pot he could smoke; at other times explosive with secret missions into territories that he wasn't allowed to tell anyone (although, of course he told me--but that was okay, I had a high security clearance). His war was "Apocalypse Now," any John Wayne combat film and "Gomer Pyle does acid" rolled into one. Michael's war changed every month or two and sometimes much more often than that.
My war was one day after another of too little sleep, too many mortars--falling on me and being called by me onto the other guys--too many bullets and, yes, far too few showers. My war was repetitive; my war was pointless.
A silent moment came. They always do in any conversation.
I noticed the familiar feeling of Michael's hand working at my belt.
"What about them?" I nodded toward the beaded drape referring to the three stoners who were beyond.
"They won't hear anything. Besides, they're cool."
I figured, "What the hell." I knew I wasn't going to get thrown out of the army. The military needs queers during a war, because against all stereotypes we're the best soldiers, maybe it's because we're already used to a constant battle. Furthermore, the army wouldn't throw me out, because that would have made me happy. By that time in my military career I had learned that the major purpose of the military industrial complex was to make me miserable doing things that I never wanted to do to people against whom I felt absolutely no grudge.
I let him continue. Once my pants were at my knees, he whispered, "It's been a long time," as he stroked my already rigid cock.
"Too long, " I croaked.
He leaned over, licking around my crown before plunging hungrily fully onto me. I was surprised, because this was something that he had refused to try in high school. He said that it was "too queer." Isn't it funny how boys struggling with their sexuality draw a line designating what is taking things too far to be able to kid themselves any longer. Of course the line is prone to moving occasionally, as it apparently had for Michael sometime since we had last been together some four years previous. As the corny joke goes, "Denial isn't just a river in Egypt."
I pushed him off of me long enough to try to loosen his belt.
"Tomorrow," he said. "We'll have the place to ourselves."
He pushed me down on the bed, and went back to his feast.
It was the first sex I had experienced with anything except my hand since I had arrived in Viet Nam. It had been a very long time, and I was enjoying his rather remarkable oral talents fully. Unfortunately, the time between pleasurable events is inversely related to the length of time one actually gets to enjoy them. At least that's the case with me.
I wanted to feel his mouth on me for the rest of the night. I was certainly willing to forego the sleep that I had promised myself, as he moved intensely up and down my shaft, while applying just the right flicks of the tongue and a touch of suction to keep me from accidentally escaping his ravenous mouth.
I wanted fervently to taste him in my mouth too; a pleasure that I had denied myself in high school, since he was unwilling to be "too queer" with me. But he had promised me "tomorrow," so I focused on the pleasure of receiving and willingly delayed for now the equally profound pleasure of giving.
Far too soon (and you know this is coming, if you'll forgive the pun), I felt my cum building. I felt it in my dick; I felt it in my abdomen; I felt it throughout my body. And then, of course, I felt it projecting into the furthest reaches of his mouth. Once. Twice. Until after five or six unbelievably forceful shots, I subsided to a trickle, and my urgency made way for simple contentment.
Now, unlike some men I have enjoyed, I am not overly sensitive after cumming. I continued to lay there and enjoy the feel of Michael spreading my own juices all around my cock with his tongue. When he swallowed, he silently declared the evening's pleasure over. He pulled his mouth away and whispered, "Wow!"
"Thanks," I uttered, barely audible even to me.
"Tomorrow," he said again. "Come on. I'll walk you back."
"I'll come around early in the afternoon," Michael promised as we got to my barracks.
"Yeah, I owe you big time," I declared as a means of final thanks for the night.
I laid down in my bed. Some of the other men in the barracks had returned from their evenings of drinking or, as some would later tell it, debauchery.
I went to sleep quickly to the sounds of drunken snores and images of what had been just a short while before. I wondered how far Michael would be willing to go tomorrow. How far had he moved his line? Had he pushed his limits far enough, or were some things still "too queer?" As for me, I no longer worried about such things, not that I had ever given them much thought.
I had awakened that morning expecting it to be like all of the other days in my war, but I was wrong. It had turned out to be a day of rest for me, and much more. What would tomorrow bring?
I got an answer to that question at 0530, when the First Sergeant came bursting into the barracks.
"Get up men. Get to the mess hall. We're moving out at 0630. It's going to be a while, so get all your gear together before you eat."
"But I thought we had a six day stand down," said one groggy soldier a few bunks down the long line.
"No stand down for us," said the First Sergeant. "We have to go win a war."
For Michael and I there would be no "tomorrow." I still regret that, and I still feel as if I owe him big time. If he were still alive, I'd track him down and pay my debt with interest.
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