Skeeter Wings

The first few weeks at the Base Commander’s Office were busy. I was always running hither and yon, answering phones, making slides on a plotter, remembering not to jump up and salute every time an officer walked in the room. After all, everyone in our building was an officer except Pat, Eric, and me. Pat was a Technical Sergeant, and he was our immediate supervisor. He could tell me what to do, and I’d do it; Eric — also known as EJ the DJ and Super Airman — wasn’t so easy to supervise. His ego was the size of Texas, and the mirror next to his desk was nearly as big.  We shared an office next to Pat’s.

Pat was a nice guy — a family man and a dog lover.  He also liked to snack.  Seemed like every week, he was going to the BX for new pants or new shirts. He was definitely in danger of being put on a weight program. Nearly every day he’d stand in front of EJ’s full length mirror and ask me if he looked fat. If I ever wanted to get another set of Skeeter Wings, I should probably say no. If I hope to get into heaven, I better not waste a lie on this. We did this every day for months, and the conversation ended just as quickly when EJ sauntered in right at 7:00 each morning.

Mornin’ Skeeter Wings. Mornin’ Pat.

Good morning, Eric.

Aaaah, look at you. Who’s the fairest Airman of them all?

We never actually answered him. That would lead to a lengthy soliloquy detailing why he was so darn good looking. Eric and I got along well. We never hung out after hours, but he gave me good brotherly advice as we worked.  One day a Senior Airman named Tony came to our office to deliver a package from the chaplain. He stopped by my desk to introduce himself, and I immediately knew he was from the South — Louisiana in fact. He stayed a little longer than I liked, clowning around with Eric. I had work to do, and I couldn’t be distracted by those two.  When I returned, Tony was gone, and Eric had propped his feet — crossed at the ankles–atop his desk.

I ate lunch with the Colonel’s secretary and another new friend. We were going to the Milli Vanilli concert in L.A. that weekend, and we were excited.  Suzanne would pick me up at the dorm, and we’d spend the night in L.A. That’s all we talked about for the rest of the week.

When I returned from lunch, there was a beautiful bouquet of red roses on my desk. Suzanne snatched the card from the vase before I could get to it. I knew they were from Adrian.  He had walked with me to work every day since I arrived at Eddie’s. I tried to tell him weeks ago that I wasn’t interested in a serious relationship; I don’t know the rules. He always laughed and said we’d figure it out. I guess he figured it out. I need to remember to call him to thank him before heading home in a few hours, but he’s probably driving the shuttle.

There wasn’t a name on the card other than mine, so I wasn’t sure if Adrian really had sent them.  I didn’t know too many guys who would spend money on anything other than beer and video games, so Adrian was a natural first choice. He’s the kind of guy you take home to meet your parents.

Friday went by quickly. I met with the ladies for lunch as usual, and when I returned, there was another bouquet on my desk. This time, the card read “Roses are red. Violets are blue. I hope I enjoy the concert as much as you.”

Part XIII – Dropping Like Flies

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