Friday, October 4, 2013

Story Time: Our First Fight

*** DUE TO AN OVERWHELMING RESPONSE TO "MY FIRST FIANCEE'", I'VE DECIDED TO TELL THE WHOLE STORY IN PARTS. STAY TUNED. MORE TO COME LATER." (P.S. - Thanks for the emails everyone. I have listened and now you will get the whole story. (Eventually) LOL ***


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The thing about Lorraine (Lori - as I started to call her) and mine relationship is, it was difficult to navigate through during the next few weeks. She worked in the evening where I worked during the day. When I was at 7AM morning muster, she would probably still be asleep. By the time my day was done at 4 PM, and showered, it would be five PM and she would be either at work or getting ready for it. She had mostly Sundays and Mondays off. And she had to work evenings because she made more tip money during that shift and she needed the money because she was raising a Bernie and saving to go back to community college. She had one year under her belt when she got pregnant. Bernie's father was a Marine who ditched her weeks before he was born.

We hardly had any time to see each other. I would stop by the bar maybe once during the week night for a while but the owner wasn't liking it very much. Dropping by the weekends was barely tolerable as it were for him. He just didn't really like when BF's came to the bar. Too much risk for fights breaking out due to jealousy concerns. The girls being barmaids and all. But he trusted me. Or so Lori told me. And truth be known, I really didn't want to always hang out there all the time either. I made friends quickly, and not just in my own unit. Stories were already being told about me and my friend Torok and our first day when we arrived hours apart to our command. (More on that later)

And now that I was dating the beautiful Lorraine, well, more stories were being tossed around. Glen had taken a lot of people with him to the Golden Saddle, and just about all of them he took had ideas about Lori. She was no stranger to my unit.

So the next few weeks were difficult for both of us. I usually went to hang out for a few hours with her on Wed. nights, and on Friday nights, after which I would go home with her and spend Saturday mornings with her and Bernie and up until she left for work on Saturday nights. She still didn't trust me enough to stay at the house with Tiffany when she was there watching Bernie so when she left for work, I usually headed back to the ship to gather up some drinking buddies or I'd go to a friends house who lived in Norfolk, his name was David Hrisko. He was born and raised in Norfolk. He still lived with his mother and step dad when he was in port. David had two brothers, an older one name Paul, who was serving in the Navy also but stationed in California. He eventually got a dishonorable discharge. His younger brother, John, was at that time at Great Lakes, Navy boot-camp. he would eventually join us at our command, later, but not in our unit, which was supply. (Or S-3) My job was cutting hair in the crew barbershop. Yes, I was a barber.

The next few weeks we butted heads a few times about her schedule and the lack of time we had with each other. I was trying to convince her to switch shifts or maybe even cutting her hours altogether because I could pay her tuition and bills, including rent. She wouldn't hear of it. She wanted to do it herself. She was a proud young woman. She also had trouble trusting guys. Can't say I blamed her there. Still, we had a few minor squabbles about it. Nothing serious though.

At the end of the third week, on Friday, I had done what I always have and was at the bar with her until closing. However, unbeknownst to me at that time, that night a friend of mine, Neil, got the shit beaten out of him by a few rough necks at another bar. When Lori left for work Saturday night, the next day, I went back to the ship. I saw what the rough necks did to Neil. Six of us, including Neil, decided to get some payback. I left with them to go back to the bar where these rough necks hung out and we set up a plan and by midnight, we were involved in an all out gang style brawl in the parking lot. Those three guys that jumped Neil, had four other friends with them so it was the six of us versus the seven of them. It wasn't a pretty sight. A couple of the red necks brought out knives and so it got really serious really fast.

In the end, we won the fight, if anyone ever does win a fight, but we left them laying in the parking lot as sirens were blarring in the back ground, that was police arriving to the scene so we split. We met back up at a bar called the Silver Saddle, and yes, the same guy who owned Golden Saddle also owned another bar on the beach called Silver Saddle. it was a little bit bigger and also had a stage for live bands and they had a mechanical bull. We congratulated ourselves for our battle and had a couple beers before breaking ranks and going our separate ways for the night. Some went back to the ship, others perhaps to a motel but I, I went to Lori's to wait for her to get home after closing.

I was sitting on a chair on the pier in back when she arrived. She saw my car and assumed I was back there waiting for her. She walked up and gave me a hug and kiss when I got to my feet to greet her. By the light of the moon, after the kiss, she could see my face. "Oh my God, Carroll, what happened to you? Your face is all ...."

"I got into a fight." I said.

"Oh sweetheart, are you okay? How did it happen?"

"I'm fine." I told her. "Some guys jumped Neil so you know, we had to do something."

"Well of course you did. You have to defend your friend."

I sat back down in a chair and she went to her knees in front of me, rubbing my legs to comfort. This is when I elaborated for her the situation. Something in hindsight I wish I never did. "Three guys jumped him Friday night but we went back tonight and taught them a lesson."

This didn't sit well with her. "Wait, what? You mean they didn't jump tonight? They jumped him last night?"

"Yeah." I responded. "But it's okay, we got them back. Everything is cool."

Lori quickly got to her feet. "No, Carroll, everything is not cool. You went looking for trouble?"

I stared up at her, slightly confused. "No. I mean, yeah, but no, we just went back to teach them a lesson. No one jumps S-3 and gets away with it."

She was now sounding quite disgusted. "I don't believe this."

I got to my feet. "Believe what?"

She turned to look out over the dark river before turning back to look at me. "What do you think this is? High school all over again?"

I was still confused. "What are you talking about?"

Boy, did she let me have it. "I am talking about you and your friends going out on a Saturday night starting bar fights. How fucking adolescent can you be? That's high school shit, Carroll."

I started getting aggravated with her. "No it's not. It's payback. Mother fuckers jumped Neil. We had to go get them. It's the code. You wouldn't understand. It's a man thing."

"I wouldn't understand?" She snapped back. "A code? Did it ever occur to you that maybe Neil deserved getting his ass kicked?"

"You know Neil?" I questioned.

"Yes, I know Neil. Glen has brought him to the bar several times. The prick always finds an excuse to play grab ass with me. When he gets drunk, he turns into the world's biggest jerk. And he goes around looking for a fight. Ward banned him from the bar for it."

"I know he gets a tude when he gets drunk sometimes, but he's really a nice guy."

"No he isn't." She stated. "He's an ass. Let him fight his own battles."

I thought I still had good reason for my actions. "Either way, he's S-3. We had to pay those guys back. It's the code."

"To hell with your code!" Her voice getting louder. "I have a code too. It's called raising a child by myself. It's not as easy as you think it is. I don't have it in me to raise two of them. I need a man."

I took offense to her words. "Did you just call me a fucking boy?"

"If the shoe fits." She countered, angrily. "I have better things to worry about than wondering if my boyfriend is out getting into gang fights. What kind of role model is that for him?"

"So what are you going to do now, Lori? Give me another ultimatum? That's all you have done since we met. Telling me there's the door and now is the time to use it?" My 19 years of life began to show. "Maybe this kind of thing wouldn't happen if you would stop working nights. I spoke to Ward about it and he said he would put you back on first shift if you wanted. You don't need to work nights. I will pay for everything if you want. We went over this already."

"And I told you I wanted to do it myself. I don't need your money, Carroll. That's not why I am with you. God damn you're so arrogant."

"Fuck you." My tongue slithered. To which she promptly raised her hand and smacked me across the face. "Don't you ever say that to me again! Do you hear me!" Even in the darkness, I could see her eyes begin to tear up.

She started to walk away, heading back to the house. I turned in disgust and flipped over the table. It rolled around on the deck. She stopped and looked back. "What the hell? Oh great, tear up my furniture now, real mature, Carroll, real mature."

I reached into my pocket and pulled out a wad of cash. I walked up to her and tossed the money in the air as it scattered in the dark onto the ground. "There, paid for. You happy?"

"You are such an asshole." She seethed. "You think everything can be solved with money. You throw it around like a trophy, rubbing it in everyone's face. That's your problem Carroll, you never had to work for your money like the rest of us have to. Yes, I know about your family back in Ohio. Glen told me all about it. The auto parts stores, everything. Well, I wasn't born with a silver spoon. Everything I have I earned. It's called being responsible. You should look into it because that's the kind of man I need, not some kid who goes out looking to get into fights all because of some stupid fucking code."

"Stop attacking my utensils." I countered. "I can't help to being born into my family no more than you can help being born into yours. It's a cop out. So we come from two different back grounds, big deal. That has nothing to do with anything, so shut it."

Silence crept in for a moment. We stood there looking at each other. I didn't know what to say. I was just looking off into multiple directions. I was so frustrated at that moment. Finally, she spoke again. "You know where I am. Come back when you grow up." Then she turned away and disappeared inside her house.

I turned around and walked back towards the deck and pier. Coming upon a chair, I lifted my leg and gave it a swift kick. "God damn it!" I shouted.

I walked over to another chair and placed myself in it. I must have sat there for an hour. I don't know. I would randomly peek over at her upstairs bedroom. The light never turned on but I could see her silhouette shadowing in it between the curtains as she stood there looking down upon me. Finally, I got to my feet and jumped into my car. My destination was heading back to base, to the ship. I slipped in a cassette. A Rick Springfield cassette. I broke a dozen traffic laws along the way, singing at the top of my lungs in frustration. 

"She looked at me with eyes that cut right through me and said, you must be blind. Let me tell you a little something about yourself, you're the hurting kind. I must admit after the pain and fight, I've a sneaky suspicion that she might be right. I love you! I love you! I love you! I can't stop hurting you! I want to! I want to! I can't stop hurting you! I can't, I can't, I can't stop hurting you it's getting bad, I don't know what to do! ...."


 
 

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