This is a work of fiction. All persons are intended to be age 18 and above.
Living in a military town you’ll see loads of servicemen wandering around with nothing to do. They’re new to the place. They don’t know anybody.
Most importantly, they’re lonely.
Not to make it sound as if I’m exploiting that loneliness, but I do sometimes find myself benefitting from their quiet desperation for companionship. If it matters I’ve been on the flip side of that coin. Work sometimes sends me out of town for extended periods, and unless I hook up with somebody in a local chatroom, my nights are spent eating meals by myself at nearby restaurants, watching the occasional movie and hanging out in my hotel, maybe for a drink at the bar or a jerkoff session in my room.
Heck, sometimes life works out that way even when I’m not traveling. That was my predicament one recent Saturday afternoon when I looked around my house and discovered there was nothing, either inside or out, that needed immediate attention. All the yard work had been done (at least temporarily), I had no pressing laundry needs, the dishes were washed, the bills paid ... what the hell was I going to do?
I thought about going next door to Kevin’s place and seeing if he needed, er, more “help” with one of his home improvement projects. The last time I “helped” him I ended up slurping that giant cock of his down my throat (“Air Force Weenie”).
Then there was Scott on the other side of me, whose ass I had probed with my tongue while he teetered on a ladder replacing a floodlight bulb (“An Officer and a Gentleman”). Bob across the street (“Fucked by the Non-Com”) had moved, and I didn’t get screwed by him before he left, which was a damn shame. When I saw the U-Haul parked in his driveway my asshole twitched with regret. Even drunk he could fuck like a champ.
So here I was on a Saturday afternoon with absolutely nothing to do. What the hell? I grabbed my wallet and keys, intent on getting in the car and driving around until something presented itself, sex-wise or not.
But then I spied a movie gift card lying next to my wallet.
Sheesh, I hadn’t been to a theater here in town in ages. Seems like the only time I went to the movies was when I was traveling and desperate for something to kill time. It wasn’t often those circumstances presented themselves here at home.
Except they had. I seemed desperate to kill time now, and the sequel to “Independence Day” was still in theaters. Why not? I told myself. Let’s go watch aliens wreak havoc.
The theater was dark, cool, and surprisingly empty of theatergoers. At first I thought I’d gone through the wrong door, but I checked my ticket and yes, this was “Independence Day,” the 2:45 showing. Then I got out my phone and consulted the Internet Movie Database for their reviews. That explained it. The movie was a stinker, according to the critics, both profession and non. Despite that I decided to stay; sometimes a cheesy science fiction movie can be more fun than a movie with “layers.”
The theater offered stadium seating, and I was in the uppermost row so I was able to survey everybody who entered. For instance, an elderly man and woman sat way down toward the front, presumably because they could see better from there. A scattering of younger folks – couples or groups of guys – filled some of the rows in between. Some rows were completely empty.
The screen was showing that pre-trailer crap – previews for TV shows, ads for body wash and fast cars, and admonitions that you not do what I had just done – use my cell phone – after the movie started. As I watched it roll across the screen I almost missed the guy climbing the stairs, heading in my direction. But once my eyes settled on his lanky frame, I began tallying all the important details.
Height? About 6-foot 2. Weight? Maybe 170. Hair? Hard to tell; maybe blonde. It was cut so short it could have been any color. Race? Definitely pasty white. From the look of him I calculated Midwest, maybe Ohio strip shopping center Barnes & Noble clerk. Clothes? A polo-style shirt and khaki cargo shorts that were a little too short for his frame, falling just above his knobby knees. He ensemble was topped off by a pair of calf-high sports socks and cheap Walmart knock-offs of Vans.
It all added up to Air Force airman.
He climbed all the way to the top and entered my row of seats, plopping down about three chairs to my left. He took out his phone and did something to it – I assume turned off the ringer – then shoved it back into his shorts pocket. Then he appeared to relax. He surveyed the theater and his fellow moviegoers, then unexpectedly turned my way, catching me staring before I could pretend I wasn’t. Damn. I hate it when that happens.
“Nice and cool in here, isn’t it?” He said in a voice that was slightly louder than a whisper.
“Thank God,” I answered. “I thought I was gonna melt outside. Hottest summer in years.”
“You’re not from around here, are you?” he said, more a statement than a question.
“Oh but I am,” I said back. “It’s just that now that I’m an old fart the heat affects me more.”
“You don’t look very old. How old are you?”
A man after my own heart. “Thirty-nine,” I said. “Going on 70.”
He chuckled. “I’m from Michigan. It gets hot like this in the summer. Luckily we’re next to a lake so we get a nice breeze.”
An older woman and her teenage whatever – daughter, granddaughter, illegal lesbian lover – turned around and scowled at us, the old woman hissing a reproachful “Shhh!” I offered a wry smile to Mr. Michigan and pulled down the seat next to me, patting it with hand. He wasted no time scrambling from his chair and joining me. He stuck a big sweaty hand into mine and whispered, “Gauge.” I told him my name and we did the nice-to-meet-you thing and then he filled me in.
Yes, he was Air Force. This was his first assignment, a C-130 mechanic at the local base. He grew up in a small town called Lexington on the shore of Lake Huron. He was 20 years old and one day hoped to become an astronomer, a rather odd vocation for a guy who replaced special purpose pods and pylons on cargo planes. It was the money, he explained. The military wouldn’t put him through school to become an astronomer but if he lived in the barracks and didn’t buy a fancy car, he could save the money to go to college on the G.I. Bill once he was out. I had to admire his determination. I mean, I don’t know what the job market for astronomers is like, but I do know the academic requirements are pretty steep, especially the math and physics. But if that’s what his dream was then more power to him.
The trailers began and we lowered our voices but continued to talk, risking another disapproving scowl from the woman two rows below us. He evaluated each trailer with a sliding scale that ranged from “definitely” for “definitely gotta see that one” to “no effing way.” As his ratings became more colorful and goofy, I couldn’t help but laugh. Gauge was a funny guy.
Finally, “Independence Day” began. My excitement waned as the first half hour played out on the screen, and I began to understand why so many people had given it negative reviews. Bottom line? It was boring. And Gauge was confirming that thumbs down review. His head was nodding. Was he falling asleep?