There are no men anymore. No real men. I’m sitting at what I consider was the best bar in town. The beer is cold and the women are well, good enough. Bruce Springsteen belting out his latest hit “Born in the USA” on the jukebox.
“I had a brother at Khe Sahn
Fighting off the Viet Cong
They’re still there, he’s all gone”
Damn. That brings me back. It’s been over a decade now since I was there. Vietnam. That is where I grew my balls. That is where I became a man. And Khe Sahn…damn. First time I killed a man. Wouldn’t be the last by a long shot. My beard smelled like the cigar I was smoking. Back then it smelled like gun powder and then stench of the unwashed Viet Cong. Those fuckers didn’t even have the decency to bathe before dying on you.
I was distracted by a loud commotion. Four fraternity brothers getting a little rowdy. Kate ask them to calm down. Kate always kept a cool head behind the bar. Mid forties but looked to be in her late 50’s. Running a place like this ages you. Fucking kids. Two beers in and they are already causing trouble. Probably trying to get their dicks wet for the first time. When I was their age I had the blood of men on my hands. Men who were willing to die for a belief. All these idiots believe is that wearing matching jean jackets looks good. Where I come from jeans are for strapping down your dick. Not keeping your nipples from leaking.
I remember when this beard smelled like something else. Pussy. Saigon pussy. Cheap, bad, and dangerous. The was sex should be. Best tour I ever had. Never wanted to come home. Pretty sure I have a few kids over there. Condoms and I…we never got along. Women these days. They want to talk and “spend quality time”. The way I see it if my dick is out… time is about to get pretty quality. For me at least. Sure I’m not the best looking guy. I’m no Michael J. Fox or Kevin Bacon but I got it where it counts. My pocket. 10 bucks. Good enough for at least a bathroom handjob from Kate. I order another whiskey. Excited by the prospect. Of whiskey. Kate slides it down the bar and I pour it back. Some drips on my chin conditioning my course whiskers. I’m jostled from behind as one of the frat boys playing grab-ass bumps into me.
“Alright boys, that’s enough. This is a bar, not a dick suckery for preppy school kids” I said trying to wring the whiskey out of my beard. Out of nowhere I am jostled again. No, this time I was pushed.
“Screw off scum bag! And why don’t you give that face of yours a haircut!”
At least I think that is what he said. I’m not listening. I stand and grabbed him by his stupid jacket and sent him face first into the bar. His teeth take most of the impact. One of his tough guy friends makes a move. He’s quick. Not quick enough. My boot makes quick work of his knee. He tries to catch himself from falling by grabbing the bar. I help him out by driving my knife though his hand and into the beer soaked wood. Now, it’s a good knife and I wouldn’t want him walking away with it so I break his other hand just to be safe.
“Now, if you other boys want to get rowdy we can do that. Or, you can be gentlemen and apologize to Kate here and be on your way.” One of their chins is quivering. Even if mine was you wouldn’t see it due to the thick bush of man that covered it. They try to stammer a response as they head out the door. So full of adrenaline they can hardly speak. First fight. Not used to the rush. Pussies. All of them. No real men left.
I take out my 10 bucks and throw it on the bar. “Kate, let’s go. This cock ain’t going to jerk itself off. “ She looks at me disgusted. I stare at her. She stares at me. Then the money. She quickly grabs it and heads towards the mens room. I love weekends.
- Sgt. David Garlson (Ret.)