Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Part 137


"Ahhhhh, peace and quiet at last and room to stretch.  Place even smells better."

Josie was being a smart aleck in a way that only she could get away with but I have to say I completely agreed with her.  However, my only comment was a shrug.

Josie poked me with a stick before she snickered and threw it on the fire.  "Seems poor Pvt. Harris couldn't get no lovin' no matter how hard he tried to chat you up."

I was definitely not going there.

Josie scooted so she was out of the smoke and gave me a long look.  "You really don't do you?"

"Don't what?" I asked pretty sure I didn't want to be part of the conversation.

"Men, boys, males.  You ain't a hater but you don't seem to want one ... or even borrow one for a little while ... for some private usage."

"No."

She got a serious look on her face after she figured out she'd run into one of my personal taboos.  "You know I'm just messing ... most of the time ... right?"

Frankly I was surprised she cared.  I looked at her and said, "Yeah, I get it.  And yeah I know you don't mean anything bad by it.  I also know everybody expects a girl my age to be boy crazy or something stupid like that.  And no I'm not emotionally stunted ... I've heard that too but I'm not.  I just don't ... don't ... Look, I just don't go there and let's leave it at that."

"'Cause you're not sure you like that flavor?"

I sighed having had that question posed as well.  "I know what flavor I'd like if I did like a flavor.  I'm just not into it."

"Honey your daddy isn't around to introduce you to Prince Charming ... even if such an a$$hole did exist.  You're gonna have to put yourself out if you plan on having any fun in this life."

Irritated I slammed the storage box on the dog cart shut.  "I don't have to do anything.  As a matter of fact I don't know why I should even want to.  Look around ... anybody that wants that kind of complicated trouble ... never mind."

Gayle decided to do her own digging and teased me with, "You nursing a broken heart for some farm boy?"

"No!"

Lucy smiled and muttered, "That no sure sounds like a yes."

I was just about to explode but I am no fool.  We are in the middle of nowhere, deep in puss brain territory.  These women, regardless of what they say, could up and leave me with nothing except some hurt.  I reined my temper in and sat down.  "Look, I haven't got the time for that kind of kid stuff.  In the city I saw ... things ... happen to girls when they made the choice to go down that road.  Most of them were older than me but not all of them.  I saw what it did to them ... got most of them dead or worse.  I don't want to wind up like that.  Call it how my parents raised me or some kind of trauma disorder or whatever else you want to make up, I don't care."  I sighed.  "Now I'm asking you nicely, please just drop it.  Maybe I am broke inside or something ... how many girls my age do you know that have lost count of the number of people they've had to put out of their misery?  If I was a different kind of girl from what I am I sure as heck wouldn't be out in these woods cooking for four deadly amazons who are doing whatever it is they are supposed to be doing.  And for the record, I don't hate guys ... or people in general ... I'm just choosy about who I hang around with."

Josie said, "Hey!  You're hanging with us.  I feel special.  Gayle don't you feel special?"

Before things could get worse Sgt. Shelly said, "Oh you're 'special' all right.  Now knock it off.  She holds the coffee ... I like my coffee ... I like it even better when it tastes like coffee and not like bear $#@%.  So let's keep the cook happy ... m'k?"

Then Josie, Gayle, and Lucy started acting silly ... well, sillier than I've ever seen them anyway ... and then abruptly lost interest in whatever game they were playing and started talking logistics and grid patterns and junk like that while I provided the coffee that Sgt. Shelly liked so much that she'd tell them to knock off the teasing.

After thinking about it I guess they are trying to get to know me.  I'm just not sure I want them to know me because if they do they'll probably have even more things to laugh at me over.  If they really knew me stupid stuff like Pvt. Harris not getting that I wasn't interested would be the least of my problems.

And speaking of problems the helicopter that picked up the men soldiers brought new orders for our patrol.  We aren't going to be here a week ... we are going to be out here a month.  There is only going to be one re-supply ... and that's assuming we can make it to the drop off point and that weather or other stuff doesn't interfere.  The women are putting a good face on it, or they don't seem worried anyway.  Sgt. Shelly is a little stiff but she's like that normally.  Gayle looks irritated but that's her normal state of being too.  It is really Josie and Lucy that let me know that stuff is bubbling beneath the surface ... Lucy is quiet which means she is stressed and trying to control her stutter, and Josie is making too many jokes and irritating people more than she normally does.  I'll put up with it so long as she doesn't get too vicious and too nosey.

I guess, if I'm being honest, I'm a little worried ... scared ... about tomorrow.  It isn't anything that I haven't faced before but I'm in completely new-to-me territory and I won't have anyone around in case there is a problem.  Tomorrow the women head out to rendezvous with another patrol to pick up some maps and information.  Due to the distance they are going to have to travel they will likely be gone overnight.  They will be a full day out and a full day back and if something detains them they may be gone two nights/three days.  They are taking MREs with them which leaves me wondering exactly what I'm supposed to be doing if they are gone so much that all they are going to need are MREs.

I thought I knew what this job was when I signed up, now I'm kinda wondering.  Actually the alone time doesn't sound all that awful; it is being alone in unfamiliar territory that is bothering me.  That and Sgt. Shelly pretty much started off saying I was not to leave camp.  I finally got her to admit that to do my job I would have to be able to go at least as far as the creek but she wasn't happy about it.  I am to be armed at all times.  And careful.  And just about everything my parents ever told me to be.  I so don't need a second mother or a big sister at this point in my life.  I think if she could think of a way to drag me along to this rendezvous she would but since the terrain isn't made for hotdog carts I have to stay here.  Which is my job to begin with, whether either one of us likes it or not.

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