Just dropped off the Baron at the train station in Doylestown. I'm helping him clear out his soon-to-be-former apartment and he's storing stuff in my tractor shed. So afterwards, I had to stop off at a gas station/convenience store/Dunkin' Donuts in Doylestown to pick up a half gallon of the wine of my homeland: Rosenberger's Iced Tea. I pulled up and parked around the side. As I came around in front, off at the far end of the parking lot, I saw a young man in a Marine's dress uniform. And inside the store, there was another young man in a Marine dress uniform.
Who looked vaguely familiar.
I went in, grabbed my Rosie's, and as luck would have it, was right behind the strapping Marine at the check out counter.
And it was My Marine!
Last summer, I was having a slice at a pizza parlor. At the next table was a Marine and a sort of geekly looking kid. Over hearing their conversation, it was evident that the Marine worked at the local recruiting station, and the kid was a prospect. However unlikely. We got up to leave at about the same time, and the Marine stopped me and said, "Excuse me, Sir..."
(Like that didn't get my attention.)
I drank him in. His reddish-blond hair in a high-n-tight. Big blue eyes. Apple cheeks. Square jaw.
"Sir, that is a great tattoo you've got. That's really beautiful work. How far up your arm doesn't go?"
I love when I get asked that question. I pointed to my right ankle, "It starts here."
I love when I get asked that question, because the guy posing the question is then thinking about my body, wondering just how that tattoo gets from my right ankle to my left arm.
"That is awesome!" he declared, his face lighting up. While his prospect shifted his weight from foot to foot, the Marine and I talked about tattooing, the ink he had, the ink he wanted to get. The whole ethos of ink.
A few months later, I was enjoying First Friday in Doylestown, when somebody called me by name. I turned around, and there was my Marine, in full dress uniform again--I guess it's sort of advertising for his job--with a couple of Marine buddies.
Of course, I was enjoying a cigar.
So My Marine and I talked about cigars. And I told him about the Classic Cigar Parlor right there in town. And took him over there and got him set up with a nice maduro. I hung out with My Marine for a while, both of us smoking cigars.
And then I had to excuse myself so I could run home and jerk off thinking how that black and red tunic would set off white rope rendering him helpless and the look in his eyes flickering between anger at his helplessness and fear of the implications of that. He wouldn't be saying anything because of his duct tape gag. That camoflage duct tape.
So there was My Marine, ahead of me in line at the gas station/convenience store/Dunkin' Donuts in Doylestown.
"Hey! How's it going!" he greeted me with warmth.
I said hello, good to see you again, that kind of thing.
He put an energy drink down on the counter and fumbled in his pockets. "Aw heck," he said to the check out guy, "I'll be right back." And he made for the door, presumably to get money.
The clerk looked to me. I put down my Rosie's and got out my money. Then, inspired, I added, "And I'll get his, too."
His energy drink was $1.99. I saw him outside, coming towards the door. I picked up the energy drink and as he came in, I handed it to him.
"I got it," I told him.
"No way! Really?" he said, lighting up the room and my life with his smile.
"Sure thing," I answered. Then added, "Thanks for your service."
I bet he thought I was talking about his service to our country, and not the service he's done for my bringing some brightness to my pathetic little life.