- The Wild Boar That George Gunned Down
Two days till payday. John and the others had long since run out of money, and George had no more to lend them. Hostesses at the bar no longer sat with and entertained them as they usually did. George noticed that the hostesses kept looking toward the entranceway, waiting for other customers to arrive. George wanted to leave but couldn’t say this to his companions. They seemed now to be feeling awkward themselves, after the berserk frenzy of a few moments before. Their bottle of whiskey had been emptied long ago. Requests for more were met with demands for “cash, cash” from the hostesses, who no longer let them touch their breasts and thighs. John, Wilde, and Washington, smoldering just below the surface, seemed on the verge of something. The faces of all three were red and puffed up from the alcohol. Each face, in fact, was getting redder and redder, and each of their muscled bodies was getting more and more tensed. Soon something was bound to set them off. George remained calm and in control of himself, but he felt his heart pounding a bit harder as he observed the mood of his companions. Their vacillation, he thought, was making things worse. If you’re not going to drink, then don’t take a drop of the stuff and don’t say a word to the hostesses; but if you are going to drink, then you should drink yourself silly, feel up the hostesses, and go on and have sex with them. It has to be one or the other.
Two of the hostesses casually got to their feet and turned toward the door. Three Caucasians with faces darkly tanned from long exposure to the sun had entered the bar. Each scanned the place with his large eyes. George could tell immediately that they were back from Vietnam on R&R leave. Military on R&R are very free with their money. Hostesses in the Asign bars—the ones U.S. military personnel were authorized to frequent—called them yama-otoko (“men back from the wilds”) and went out of their way to offer them every imaginable service. They were the best source of money. George and his group recognized their own less favorable status. George’s group was still stationed in Okinawa, having just arrived from the States, while the yama-otoko were old-timers, hardened by combat in numerous battles. Even in their sleep, George imagined, these men were never free from thoughts of war. However much they [End Page 188] drank, however much they partied, however much they amused themselves with women and sex, still their minds were always in a state of battle readiness. They kept pistols and knives hidden in their pockets, and while this made no difference as long as they were on base, once they went off base they were capable of incalculable violence. In some ways, George looked down on these men.
The last of the hostesses finally got up from their table. With his thick, hairy hand, John grabbed hold of one of them by her arm. “You meaning to leave us?” he hollered. “You turning your nose up at us, you barbarian bitch?” As she struggled to free her arm, the woman pushed with her free hand at John’s head, but he forced her to sit down on his lap. Wilde and Washington, on either side of her, pinned her arms and legs. She struggle, screaming hysterically. Wilde pulled down her sheer, black panties and howled with laughter as he tossed them into George’s face. Wilde then wedged his knee between her legs, adroitly spread them as he lit a match and then, laughing loudly, shone the light on her crotch. John and Washington bent over to get a clearer view. They also laughed loudly and stared intently at her crotch. George watched the situation with increasing apprehension. The woman struggled frantically to free herself, yelling words that none of them understood. John jammed a handkerchief into her mouth as Wilde placed his match close to her pubic hairs, which frizzled...