Yet another email I dispatched from Camp Dwyer, 2012:
Around 1730hrs a truck pulls up outside my office at LSA 2. I didn’t see who was in the truck, but I figured I was about to have a visitor. (I’m really smart that way) After the truck had been literally blocking my door for about five minutes, Mike Smith (My Manager. The BBB: Billeting BIG BOSS) walks in holding up a pack of L&M cigarettes. Now remember, I have not seen this guy for the day-and-a-half he has been “back” on Dwyer.
“Anyone in here smoke these?” were the first words out of his mouth.
I look up from my personal emails and say, “Dunno. Lashonda smokes, but afraid I don’t know her brand.” (She was out of the office, actually smoking at this time)
“Well, I wish whoever is smoking these would stop doing it on the bench.” (There’s a bench just outside my office door and it sits in a ‘No-Smoking’ area.)
“Sorry Mike; not on ‘bench patrol duty’ today. Could’ve been anybody; probably a Marine with a rifle or a Jordanian with a goat. Did you trek all the way across this burning desert to tell me this? Or do you have some business here? Oh and welcome back by the way.” (Saturated sarcasm, I’m afraid.)
“Uh, no… You do realize we have a serious situation on our hands in Billeting?” (Well, duh. You’re the schmuck who has been gone, not me). I just gave him my best *You’re fucking kidding me, right?Lance, peering-over-his-glasses look.*
He continues, struggling now to maintain his Authority Voice, “Uh, of course you know everyone is gonna have to ‘get on board’ with all this new responsibility.”
Of all the monumental fuck-ups that define my life, This one reigns Supreme. Was The Most Momentous Fuck-Up Of Them All—Leaving her will go down in the back-street annals of my mind– My History Time. She was/is the only woman who was ever smarter than me.
I reeeely fucked up, leaving her!
My Helen of Troy
Here ya go Lance:
Wallow about in your self-Pity
You’re Back in Texas!
Hope it is All You Wished it to be!
You left her for a huge Piece of Dirt and a Nostalgic dream.
You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” – SOUTH PACIFIC
Please Read It
I’m Stuck On A Thing On A Thing Called “Hope”
I Poured My Heart Into ‘Building’ It (This Was Not The Out-Come I Required/Nor Desired)
“Part Six of A Sailor’s Scholarly History of the South Pacific:
Mary-Lou and Mama-San and Gainful Unemployment”
Sorry for my profanity: I am a sailor after all)”
Fun Little Known Fact:
Most of the Actors in this Scene Are Gay
“What ain’t we got? We Ain’t Got Dames.”
I love this movie.
I have spent far too much of my life in the South Pacific.
Cred: Rodgers & Hammerstein
Here is how Bar Fines are designed to work in Olongapo:
You pay the girl’s bar fine to the Mama San
You get a receipt.
You take your ‘rental’ to your room.
You fuck her.
Sometimes you feed her first.
Thusly sated, satisfied, you cast her away.
Here is how bar fines are not designed to work:
You do NOT Lose it. (Your receipt)
You broke it; you bought it.
You hand over your receipt to your rental so she can leave you.
Well, that is the short version.
The thing is, in Olongapo, Bar Girls walking about on Magsaysay Blvd, alone, without a bar fine receipt are considered in the eyes of the law to be ‘common’ street walkers. And subject to arrest.
And thrown under the jail.
So what was the very first thing I did with Mary-Lou Perucho?
I handed over my Bar Fine Receipt.
“Here ya go Darling. Put this in your pocket. Don’t lose it. Now shall we go to my hotel?”
“Sure.” She said nervously.
So we went to my cheap hotel. I had no intention of having sex with her. I was just lonely as I have mentioned. I just wanted to talk with her. Get to know her (not in that biblical sense—in that humane sense—I was lonely and she reminded me of an old High School sweetheart…)
I had been drinking (duh), so I excused myself after I had parked her in front of the television. I went to the head, took a piss. Came back. She was gone.
She had left me.
Guess she thought I was gonna try to fuck her.
( I had no such intentions)
But who could blame her for leaving?
I weighed in at two-hundred pounds and change.
She was, soaking wet, about ninety eight.
If I had fucked her, I might have broken her.
But apparently caution being the better part of smart told her to bug out.
And I had given her, her pass:
The Bar Fine Receipt.
It made me sad that I had not expressed well enough my benevolent propensity.
Of course, like the asshole I was, I went back to Viva Young the next afternoon and complained to Mama San. I wanted my money back. My rental had left me.
Mama San was not amused, but in the spirit of good customer service, she fired Mary Lou.
This was NOT the outcome I desired.
So now was I not just an asshole, but a stellar asshole.
I would have to search out Mary Lou and attempt to make things right.
All I truly wanted was a pretty girl to lay down beside me and hold my hand and listen to my stories…
And keep me company.
And pretend as if she cared.
I’ll pay you.
After we pulled out of Olongapo, I sent her money every month for a lot of months. When we eventually returned to Ologapo after some months I looked her up and gave her a bunch of gifts I had purchased with her in my mind in Hong Kong. She really was not impressed. Hurt my feelings.
Any, even casual readers, would know, should know, how I love, respect, and admire Janis Ian.
First time I heard her, I was in the Sinai Desert. Her Music Moved Me Then, And Still does today
I said, “Do you wish me dead?”
Lip service to books you’ve read
Articles on how to bed a bird in flight
You called it love
I called it greed
You say, “You take what you want”
I said, “You get what you need”
Go on, be a hero, be a man
Make your own destiny if you can
Go find a fence
Locate a shell
And hide yourself, go on, go to hell!
Go away from me
I need no charity
Janis Ian handed my ass to me.
I deserved this.
(Because I am an asshole but had temporarily misplaced my ass.)
Janis returned it to me with not-so-well wishes.
I should have learned the truth at seventeen. But I didn’t. I am still studying and yet I remain optimistic for the future. Someday I just may become a real gentle…man
Janis Ian Message to me (on Facebook):
“Lance Marcom uh… I have no idea why you took off at me like that. I said people could share because inevitably, people post on threads asking if they can share. And I’m sorry if you were “triggered ” by my offer, but if offering the option to share some thoughts written by a very dear friend of mine – who by the way is not having a great year, and certainly has more urgent things to do with his time than the way you just spent yours – caused your upset… well then, take your triggered self somewhere else. If you’re that big a “fan”, you’d know how little I think of people who use “triggered ” as an excuse, or profanity as an attempt at English.
As to telling you to “fuck off” years ago, apparently I didn’t make myself clear enough at the time, though as you admit, I didn’t say that. However, your over the top responses and insults to everyone who responded show your self-pitying true self.
Apologies mean nothing if you’ve understood nothing, Lance. Apologies mean nothing if you’ve learned nothing. And it really is time for you to take your very sensitive triggered self and work on fixing your life, instead of interfering with mine.”
(After reading her proper ‘dress-down’, I retired to my “stupid corner” opened a can of worms and ate all of them–in shame)
“When payment due exceeds accounts received.”
I will always love you Janis.
You are a beautiful, brilliant, brilliant songwriter and performer.
“Don’t spoil it all; I can’t recall a time when you were struck without an answer.”