Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Victim Of Lust? Part One

Lust (no bun intended) will certainly cause pain but not the good kind. Not only can it be a major pain in (speakin' metaphorically of course, butt that's not to say this can't be a literal pain in the ass) butt it can have far reaching consequences in other areas, such as oh, say the mind (makin' you...or me, actually, a butthead) and spiritually speakin' (in my case it was both, but I wasn't immediately aware of the spiritual ramifications. Or maybe I was and I simply didn't recognize it at the time, attributing all the problems I had to the butthead variety. Yeah, that would be a more apt Benservation).

Butt seriously, before we go too far into that psycho-spiritual (a)hole, let's first get into the appropriate back story to get ya up to speed. Then you will be better equipped to judge if this is a timeless story full of drama with surprising plot twists and a cautionary tale chock full of wisdom for the unwary (and affirmation for those who have long ago passed the unwary stage in this regard), or whether I'm jest speakin' outta my ass. Although I should point out that one doesn't necessarily preclude the other.
Sea stories (and see stories) are kinda like that sometimes. So without further a doo (that's french for BS, I think) it is with great anticipation (tempered by a great trepidation) I present the backstory (and inevitable frontstory) you, my valued readers (well, Sal anyway) demanded. Because here at OCAS we aim to please or you get double your money back. You can bank on it, but hurry up, before all the banks are Obamatized.

Note to my lovely wife Patti, should she happen to read this: This occurred several several months before we met.

Linda and I took a taxi to her apartment and it didn't take long before my stuttering problem vanished. Then again, for the rest of the night there wasn't much talkin' to be done.

The next morning I found that I could now talk more easily to Linda. For the most part.
She was no longer so scary and I could relax.

"Wow, you sure have a lot of energy! Must have been awhile, huh?" Linda asked as we showered.

"Yeah, I guess you could say that," I replied, laughing.

Actually, I had only slept with one other woman before meeting Linda and that was a one night stand. Not because I didn't wanna see the lady again, but because she was, unbeknownst to me at the time, already in a relationship, although at the time her boyfriend was enroute from a westpac cruise. He arrived a few days later, according to a mutual "friend."

I was kinda shocked, but not devastated by the news. We were both drunk, having met at a party through our mutual "friend" (which is another story), and I had to work the following day, so we didn't really develop any bond, other than a physical one, and I never saw her again after that.

Still, I didn't appreciate the deception. Had I known about her boyfriend I would like to think I would've avoided that situation. However, wheneer I was three sheets to the wind I can't say for sure what I woulda done had I found out.

The other story? You really wanna know? C'mon, it's a sordid tale of a broken and idiotic trust. Kinda embarrassing too. Don't look at me like thatwith those puppy dog eyes. Aww, alright, but you asked for it! Fortunately it's a short story so we won't get too far off track.

You see, I had a painful secret, and it wasn't the kind of secret you just blurt out to anyone.
I joined the Navy at the ripe age of seventeen, and by the time eighteen had rolled around I was still...cough cough...a virgin. Hey, wipe that grin offa yer faces, happy hour is over (except for Skully, who seems to think it's always happy hour).

You can imagine how tightlipped I was about it at that time. If that got out in those days my life woulda been over! History! Kaput! Finisio del endo! Or so I imagined.

Sad to say I wasn't a virgin by choice waitin' for the right lady, although I was lookin' for the right lady, in all the wrong places. Nor for religious reasons, although it was easy to think so by default, but I realized I was foolin' myself with that kind of thinkin' before I joined the Navy.
It made for some dramatic angst through deep conflictions, that's for sure.

So why was I still a virgin? That's an easy one. I was very shy n' introverted. Especially around women folk. Dames scared the hell outta me and at the same time were so compelling I couldn't stop thinkin' about them.
I fell (literally!) for more than a few ladies during my teen years only to have my heart dashed to smithereens and any possible hope of romance crushed beyond recognition.

Yeah, my love life was like some kinda bleak, apocalyptic wrecking yard with a sign that said "abandon hope all ye who enter." But bein' the genius I am I ignored the sign time and time again, tryin' to impose my will on reality.
Because, afterall, THIS time I would kick that ball before Lucy pulled it outta the way. Poor little fool. Oh yeah. That was me.

I was the kind of guy dames liked to see as a protective brother, or at least the ones that didn't think I was a complete imbecile and would actually talk to me long enough to get past the stuttering and uncomfortable silences I was prone to have.
You know, I was the nice guy. So no chicks dug me as a boyfriend.

I avoided talkin' about dames with my shipmates, unless I was cornered, then I would lie, which wasn't too difficult since I had read a few playboy's in my time (I wasn't a total ignoranus).
I never liked talkin' about dames, at least not objects. Not because I was a virgin, 'cause I still don't and won't. It's a respect thing. Chilvalry and all that. If it's lightheated I can tolerate it, I mean, I'm not a prude, I do notice female beauty, soul, mind n' body, but there is a line or boundary to that sort of talk and sometimes some guys cross it.

Personally, I think most guys who talk about that stuff mainly do it to be accepted, or to appear more manly or somethin' so it's not like they are total heels, although there are a few that are and actually enjoy taking that sort of talk to the gutters.
You know the type. The jerks who go that extra mile to degrade ladies.
Jerks like that really pissed me off and still do. Why there seemed to be so many dames enamored by punks like that is beyond me..

Anyhow, it was difficult to keep such a horrendous secret like this and it never occured to me to tell the Chaplain. Besides, what would I say?

"Um, hi Chaplain, how's it goin'?"

"Good, good, how are you Ben?" The Chaplain might reply (Chaplains like to be informal, I reckon because they would lose business if they insisted on strict, military protocal all the time).

"Well...I'm still a virgin, Father."

"I...see. It's good to save yourself for marriage to the right woman," Chaplain replies, smiling.

"Yeah, about that...the thing is I don't really wanna save myself. I mean, if the right woman appears that's great, but there seems to be a shortage."

"A shortage of right women? It may seem that way but how can you know?" Chaplain asks, a perplexed look forming on his face.

"Oh, I know, Father. I know," I reply with the certainty of a fool. A poor little fool.

"Yes, but perhaps it isn't the right time. You can't simply make love happen on your timetable. It's difficult to wait for the right woman, but it is worth it. The Lord knows your heart. Patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait," Chaplain says.

The Lord knows my heart? Crap. I'm in deep kimchee!

"Um thanks Chaplain."

"Leaving already? We can talk more if you like," Chaplain says. "I got some books here that may help."

"Well I gotta get back to work..." I say, lookin' for a way out.

"Okay, I see. You are always welcome, of course. Anytime," Chaplain says.

This is awkward. What was I thinkin'?

"Thanks, Chaplain," I say, shaking hands and retreating at flank speed.

"May God watch over you," Chaplain says.

Great. Now I gotta get rid of that playboy, I think, feelin' guilty and lookin' up...nervously.

No, the Chaplain was outta the question. Plus I didn't know him. I met him when I first came aboard and I was sure he was a nice guy, but how could I explain all this to him? I wondered. Without dyin' of shame? Or a bolt of lightnin'?

So I decide to tell a friend. A drinkin' buddy called Carl. Carl was a Signalman. He worked in a different division than mine, but we were in the same department and I did see him occasionally since the Signal Bridge wasn't far from Combat (CIC, Combat Information Center) where I worked.

Of course, I was slightly inebriated when I did tell him, but Carl appeared to be a stand up kinda guy. He seemed to be trustworthy.
Carl was also inebriated. We were at the Enlisted Club and the timing just seemed right.

"Can you keep a secret?" Carl asked, takin' a swig of beer.

"My lips are sealed," I said, lighting up a smoke.

"I'm serious man, you can't tell anyone," Carl said, looking me straight in the eyes and leaning over the table.

"Seriously, my lips are sealed," I replied.

"I only got one ball," Carl said.

"What?" I replied, tryin' to make sense outta what I heard.

"Yeah, when I was eight my brother and me was playing with my dad's axe trying to chop some wood. I was sitting down watching my brother who is a year older than me, when he slipped. The axe lopped off one of my balls," Carl said. "I kid you not. Here, I'll show you," Carl said, gettin' ready to undo his pants.

"No!" I replied, loudly. "No, I believe you. Must've hurt like hell. Damn!"

"No sh*t it hurt like hell. Anyway, everything still works okay. You're the only one I ever told that to," Carl said.

"Well, thanks for trustin' me," I said.

I was unsure how to reply, actually. What could I say?

"Hey, you got any secrets Ben?" Carl asked. "You owe me one secret."

"Huh?" I replied, taken aback at the question.

I owe him a secret? What's that mean? I wondered.

"You know. I told you a secret now you recip...respit...respitrocate," Carl said, beginning to have problems with big words.

"Okaay..." I replied. "But you must not...ever...EVER repeat this. EVER!"

"Never!" Carl said. "Ever."

"I'm still a virgin," I said, barely audible.

"What?" Carl asked in disbelief.

"I'm NOT repeating it," I said.

"For real? Your a..." Carl replied.

"Yes!" I hissed, cutting him off and looking around to see if anyone heard.

I was beginning to think this was a bad idea.

I was right.

Did I say short story? Sorry! To be continued...


jwm said...

OOOOH. There's one of life's little lessons that can come back, and sting for years- putting confidence, and confidential information into irresponsible hands. I certainly have the beentheredonethat's on that one!
Good to see you back at the blogerating, Ben. Have a joyous Easter.

John M

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi John! Thanks, and Happy Easter!

Waitaminnit! You ALSO told Carl that you were a virgin when you were 18? :^)