I was on a hiatus from the Marine Corps. Most civilians would call it AWOL (absent without leave), in the Marines it is a U.A. (unauthorized absence). I was frustrated and irritated with the powers that be and the imposition on my person so I decided that instead of showing up for formation the next morning I would go off to LA, Hollywood. I was stationed in twenty nine palms California. This sounds luxurious but it is nothing more than the butt crack of the Mojave Desert. I gathered a few items, shoved my cash into my jungle boots threw on an old Never Mind the Bollocks T-Shirt a pair of jeans and my jacket to head out.
The Taxi cabs were abundant in the Mojave at least around the base where there was a plethora of young men without transportation destination of purpose just the drive to find vagina and get drunk. In a desert where the average citizen was an 18 to 26 year old Marine Male the Vagina to penis ratio was slightly out of whack, and the vulgar part was that it was never hard for men to find those few vaginas. I won’t speak of the cleanliness of these vagina’s just the fact that they were making themselves available to our young Marines, possibly as a service to their country. Even the wife’s of the Marines were providing this service to many young jarheads. I hope some of those young women read this and realize how much their husbands appreciated their selfless act of tending to his fellow Marines. What Patriots. What morale. What dedication.
So I started the weekend off in a little two bedroom ranch decorated in Natty Light cans, empty whiskey bottles, vomit and used prophylactics. We frequented the bars. Casey was one of those big skinheads that spent time in Prison. The kind with bolts on his ankles. That is two lightning bolts or Hitler’s own little SS mark. He was also a rowdy old man. We made it to one of the more popular desert bars full of yuppies, Marines, and loose women. After a few pitchers we started to pee in the empty pitchers in the corner of the bar, as this is extremely logical when one is as drunk and strung out as we were at the time. Public urination is often seen in such an opprobrious light when one is sober.
Amongst the drunken chaos and public urination an undercover NARC approached me attempting his best to be hip with his out of date 80′s Magnum P.I. mustache, and duck-tailed hair. He wore his Hawaiian shirt and pilot jacket as a badge of coolness. My only guess would be that he thought someone as hyper and chaotic as I was would be on cocaine. But the reality was that at that point all I had done was drink and pop a half a dozen caffeine pills. He began to ask for some “Go Fast” I tried not to laugh as I explained to him that nobody in this decade refers to cocaine as “Go Fast” and that he might need a new approach to actually be effective.
As I left his company I returned to my friends who had ran into quite a dilemma. We had too many pitchers and some were not full of beer but piss. What on earth would we do with all these pitchers of piss? One guy suggested we pour it down the toilet. Another suggested we pour it on the floor. I could not imagine letting all that fresh warm piss go to waste like that.
I caroused the bar until I came upon a table of drunk jarheads. They were plastered, almost incoherent. I walked up to them and asked if they were Marines. They gave me an Ooh Rah! I said how proud I was of them and gave the the warm pitcher. The guy who took it had blood shot eyes wobbling in his seat. He gave me the thumbs up as he drank directly from the warm pitcher of piss. He smiled at me. I was in shock. I hoped I never got to the point where I was drinking such filth mindlessly. Ah drunken ignorance. I returned to my group who was laughing about the incident where we began to break beer bottles over each others heads. The management were nervous and upset with us at this point. We were kicked out. Ranting and yelling throwing beer bottles all over the bar we stormed out taking our pitchers with us.
It was liberating to haul out of the parking lot and off into the desert in Casey’s old truck sipping from my pitcher of beer. The night wen on like most nights when you are drunk and rowdy. We made it back to the little house we were staying where we commenced with breaking stuff and drinking. After the weekend I woke up in a miserable way. Then only cure was to walk up to the Down Town Josh, a little bar I liked to visit in the mornings and get a coffee and a beer. This is a great breakfast for any jarhead, especially one that was UA. It was there that I came up with the great idea to go to L.A.. It was one of those moments of clarity you so often get after six or eight beers.
There was a little bus you could catch from twentynine palms out to Joshua Tree and then on off to Palm Springs. I caught it. Once in Palm Springs I was dropped off in front of the Grey Hound station where I bought a ticket to Los Angeles….
More to come in a future post.