(taken from the book: “Where the Birds Don’t Sing”)
The New Zealand Maids
I did find out I had the run of the hotel, well, for the most part anyway. Two maids, Rena and Hanna, sisters from New Zealand, 18-years old would come into my hotel room in the morning to make my bed, clean my room, and we became good friends quickly. Most of the time I’d either meet them as I was leaving, or they’d actually wake me up, which was good because I didn’t want to sleep this R & R away.
They were soft spoken, assured of themselves, and both with wavy long black hair. Hip to the tune, tone and fashion of the day; –fun loving, high energy. The older of the two, which surely was only by a few minutes at best, was hard to tell, for them, although were fraternal twins, yet, with a lot of similarities, was Rena.
Rena seemed to have taken more of a liking to me than her sister, or maybe felt sorry for me, in either case; she liked talking a lot with me. She and her boyfriend, of sorts, took me out to the ocean front one day, there we had a picnic, took pictures, and looked at the mermaid on the rock, looking out into the waves. As always I grabbed the moment, and sat on the huge rock overlooking the ocean, the city was to my left side as Rena snapped a picture.
I didn’t want to go back to Vietnam I suppose, but I never thought not to, even though a few folks stopped me here and there, on the side walks streets informing me to stay in Sydney; –I suppose most GI’s had to think of returning, and to my understanding, there were many here who had deserted. But that also was not in my DNA; I never thought of that as an option, they did for me. History would not record such a coward’s deed by me.
The day would end, and a few more would be left; that is all I thought about, it really never occurred to me to desert.
The girls came back to my hotel room, and we all sat on the roof, drinking from my little refrigerator that they stocked each day with beer, wine and a greater assortment of those little bottles of rum and scotch. From the roof you could see the whole section of this city, within a city, called Queensland, it seemed the small harbor that looked like a lagoon to me was the most beautiful spot in the world, other than possible Como Park, back home in St. Paul, Minnesota. I was not yet twenty-four, but it was right around the corner, and somehow I felt much older, much worldlier, traveled if you will.
The Bar-Party and Demi
I met Demi and her friend at the local pub [bar], I was sitting alone and she had asked me to dance; actually I was observing all along one blond [staring at her]. She was who was trying to put the make on a young man, a blond also, both around nineteen years old. I had drunk the night away for the most part. And when the man paid her no attention, she got frustrated, and had asked me to dance, to make him jealous, she had told me so. In any case, she was much more attractive than Demi, but Demi was paying me more attention [and this girl was in a gloomy bellyache over a stranger], and respect than the other woman. And the blond had come right out and said she was going to make it with that man, one way or another. And I wasn’t the one to test fate.
Funny I thought, when a woman has her eye on you, in most cases she will walk through the gates of hell to meet her objective. And so I knew I had no way of winning anyway, plus I didn’t have time for games or time to win her over. Another philosophy I had picked up somewhere along life’s presently short-little-road, was: ‘Don’t compete if you can’t,’ it’s simply wasted energy. And so it was a good show, that being, watching her sway her hips and cat eyes along his shadow, wherever he went. He knew she was following, and was teasing her I think.
Actually this was the second bar they met at, and he was thinking about going to another, and one of her girlfriends said she over heard what bar he was going to. And that was the one she was going to.
Demi was about 5’3″ inches tall, not heavy, but I’d say about 10-pounds over what I’d have liked her to weigh, and she was always laughing, talking, as friendly as a church mouse. The blond gal who was after the blond guy, had big breasts, and a wonderful ass, was far from friendly, although she was, and then she won’t: –let me explain, –she was not what she was pretending to be, rather she was editing her every move to be what the blond guy wanted. [With an unhappy pause.] She focused then back on the blond-guy. She didn’t have much fun I would think; –a challenge yes, but fun, no [but then we all have our own way of having fun]. Now on the other side of the coin, she was friendly, that is to say, as long as you allowed her to be in charge. In consequence, I got the better deal for the time allowed I figured.
Demi and I caught a taxi over to my hotel room. [She was kissing me in the back seat] When we got there, she undressed, she looked even better than I thought. Yet she was plane looking for the most part, with a fairly better body than I expected [lying desperately and convincingly she wanted me], nice round and full breast, healthy looking. We made love for hours on end, until we both passed out. She snuck a few times over to my little frig-where I had the little bottles of rum, whiskey, and wine, some vodka, and gin. From what I gathered she’d prefer hard liquor to beer, my choice was not the hard liquor or as I call them the devilish chemicals. Demi was closer to my age, or a bit younger, but not much younger, possible twenty-one.
The next day we got up, went out and had breakfast; –in the process I kind of dodged the twin sisters from New Zealand, not wanting to ‘show and tell.’
Demi brought me down to the dock area of Sydney, an area I hadn’t seen yet. We ate at a few restaurants and again had a few beers, it was a full day.
That evening both Demi and I went to a house party [within the city of Sidney]. When we got there she introduced me to several of her friends [as she hurriedly pronounced their names, of which I’d surely forget by morning], I had my cool leather jacket on, I bought for this R & R, it was sharp and I got a lot of comments on it while being in Sydney.
As the night went on I found myself getting drunker than I expected. There were several rooms in the house, and I seemed to be in this one main room, seemingly bigger than the others, and it seemed to me this was where all the talking was going on.
The Big Room
The following morning [looking at my watch], it was 9:00 A.M; —-I shook my head [pried my eyes open], I was lying down next to a radiator-heater I could feel the head on my face; I had passed out but a few inches from it, the following evening. My left hand seemed hot also, as I pulled myself out of my curled up fetus-type position. I quickly moved my hand then. As I turned my head to look at my hand and what happened, I noticed my leather jacket had a huge black spot on it, –as I looked closer –trying to open my eyes up wider, they seemed to be a bit glued to my skin, my blinking was in slow motion–I tried to focus on where the hot burning was coming from, and noticed a burnt black spot on my forearm. I quickly pulled my hand to my face from off the heated radiator, of which it was leaning against…staring at it [dissatisfied].
“Shit…it’s ruined!” I said out loud [yet no one was there to hear me anyways]; then looked around the big room. It was vacant, I was alone, even Demi had deserted me; –or should I say, left for a better time else where I imagine. On one hand, as I looked back at my left arm and the jacket, I guess I felt lucky; if I was that drunk, I could have burnt myself quite bad, for the heat was penetrating all the way through the leather, and the shirt I had on, had I not had the jacket on, and being so drunk, I may not have even felt my flesh burning.
Wouldn’t that be a joke to my friends back in Cam Ranh Bay, I survive through the Vietnam War only to get hurt on R & R. No way, I’d never live it down. I knew of a few people who had shot their toes off, and broke their hands so they could go back home, but it just wasn’t in my code, you know, that DNA thing, or values, something like that.
[Anxiously, looking at my jacket again-out of my mouth came] “Shit, shit, shit,” [a pause] “…my poor jacket”: –specially made in Korea for me, for this trip. I can’t believe it. The more I gained my senses and focus, the more I was getting madder at spoiling my jacket; –I had paid over $100-dollars for it.
It had gold colored loops for fastening it across the chest area, which hooked to the other side; it had those long dangling fringes like the cowboys such as “Buffalo Bill Cody;” and I mean long, maybe several inches. But now it was ruined
for the most part. I tried to tuck it away for a moment, I felt it was a blast of a night, and got back up on my feet, and found my way slowly to the doorway. Outside I walked a ways down the sidewalk, and caught a taxi to my hotel; the taxi woman told me how the women in Sydney liked Americans because they appreciated them more than their own men. When I got to hotel, I bid her farewell, and went to my room, whereupon, I discovered I had a few messages from Demi, but I really didn’t care, I laid down in bed, took a long nap.
The phone rang about 2:00 PM, it was Demi again, and she wanted to meet me; she implied she’d be down in an hour and we’d make love again. I used the excuse she abandoned me, so I didn’t feel guilty about getting rid of her, and told her point blank I needed to be left alone. She was nice, but I just didn’t want to hang with her forever. I had about 36-hours left on my seven day R & R and I just wanted to drink it up.
Right after I hung up from Demi, Colleen, a friend of Demi called and asked if I’d take her to a certain night club. I really couldn’t remember who she was, or what she looked like, but I said “ok,” and told her to meet me at my hotel, since I would get lost trying to find any other place.
And so she showed up at 6:00 PM. She was not at all what I had expected. Demi was fair, but Colleen was next to homely.
‘Now what do I do,’ I told myself; –I had about 33-hours left, and so I told myself to make the best of it
she sat on my bed as I put my shirt on, –she was slender I had noticed, and had breasts the size of a nice rounded coffee-cup. She stood about 5′ 4″; an older woman of about 28-years old. She explained [she had talked to me last night after Demi had left] I had given her my phone number, and that was how she got it.
No sooner had I put my shirt on, she was taking off her blouse, and pants. Everything was black, her blouse, her bra, and her panties. She then lay on the bed and asked me to join her. I was a bit horny I think, matter-of-fact, I was as horny as a dog with two dicks, I almost tripped getting to the bed, and climbed between her legs faster than Santa comes down a chimney.
“Calm down,” she said, “You’re an animal.” She was right I was an animal for that split moment, and so I confirmed with her I was, and being so, wasn’t sure why I was; and then she said with her teeth mashing, “I’m OK with it, [she pause] just don’t rip me,” she ended.
We had sex, and it was hard sex for some reason, and afterwards she was hurting a little, and I apologized, not quite knowing what had over taken me. It was not like I hadn’t had sex in the last few days, for I had. But instead of trying to figure it out, I dropped it in file #13 [the waste basket], and smiled.
That night we went to a fine night club, she had picked it out, I think because she wanted the best of the best, while she could get it, and I went along with it. And again I got drunker than a skunk; we had two pictures taken, and asked the photographer to send me my picture via Vietnam. Then after the club we went back to my hotel room and screwed again. This time I was a little more graceful, and tender, but probably not much more, for I had passed out. In the morning, I said my farewells, and had to get ready for a 2:00 PM flight back to Vietnam.
A week in the city was like going from a winter storm to a summer resort; it was appreciated, I even silently thanked the tax payers [mentally] back in America for the free trip. I never claimed I deserved it, but I took it none the less.
I didn’t really have much rest either, feeling I’d get enough if, or rather when I got out of the Army, which was not all that far away.
The hotel and its owner were very kind. The New Zealand girls were kind and the farm gal was kind. Demi was gracious for the most part and I had drunk more than my share. Matter of fact, I noticed my bill was $35.00. I didn’t have any way to pay the bill, and so when they told me [the owner], about the bill, I think I must have made a few faces. Thirty-five dollars was not a lot of money to a lot of people, but it wasn’t a drop in the bucket either, especially for a Corporal in the Army. I was making about $345 tax free a month, but most of it I put in the company safe.
Well, the owner didn’t seem to mind, a young black-haired gentleman, of about 35-years
he said, with a smile, and assurance he would get the money,
“No problem soldier, I’ll have you sign this note, and we’ll forward it to your company, and they will take it out of your pay check.” That seemed easy I thought.
I smiled at him, as he gave me the note to sign. He then helped me with my luggage, which was only one bag, and took me to the airport, –walked me into the waiting area, we then shook hands and he was gone to another section waiting for an arriving plane, like he did the first day I came into Sydney.
The weather was warm, and it seemed like it all happened too quick to be true, but I had a few pictures to prove it did happen, not many, maybe a dozen or so, but that was enough [and I loved the brown leather shoes my black sergeant friend borrowed me to go on this R&R with, I would thank him when I got back–they were very expensive.]; — here I was leaving, and I felt I had just arrived. I think time slows down when you’re actively on a vacation of sorts, that is –in motion on such a trip, and when you stop to look at it, time catches back up with you.
The Army took care of its own that was a slogan and it was a good one, and a true one. And for the most part, I would always have good feelings about Sydney and its people. I figured someday I’d look back at this trip, maybe never come back, but look back, look at the pictures. The two gals I met, the twins, took me to the ocean front, would stay in my memory banks, or at least one of them would; the park and it’s big tree, with the woman that was looking for a soul mate. Who knows, a soldiers life is not easy, but then it has its rewards, and traveling was a good perk I thought. If only I could now capitalize on the free education they offered, but that would be looked at another day, when I got out of the Army I suppose. Actually I didn’t know it at the time, but it would be used to its extreme.
That’s my flight I told myself. They called it again; got to go.