I knew all about BC Street in Okinawa.
All marines coming from the States processed at Camp Hansen, and the place was glutted with anxious young men facing an uncertain future. We marked time all day waiting for orders, crowded into transient barracks. Liberty call was at 1700, and the casual company first sergeant would only issue a handful of liberty cards. And of course, the NCO’s came first. If you were of low rank, the odds were you’d never see a pass unless you had one willed to you. Consequently, you went AWOL.
Camp Hansen was a huge marine base walled by a twelve-foot tall chain-link fence, three single strands of barbwire run along the top as a minor deterrent. The only way off the camp was a gate where the MP’s stood guard and checked ID’s. So, the only alternative to freedom was to scale the barrier. There were selected places to go to accomplish this, and the sites changed occasionally. Usually when the MP’s who patrolled outside in jeeps got wise by spotting all the trampled ground.
When it got dark I’d don civvies and head for the latest breakout point. There, the line being so long I’d have to wait a half hour, hiding in the bushes with the rest of the soon-to-be fugitives, to make my hat.
When the guy ahead of me vaulted the fence and faded into the night, I broke cover and tore ass across the open ground. I hit the fence, scuttled up, looked left and right, and leapt off. I hit the ground at a run and sped into nearby Kin Ville to find a cab. And they were always there, motor humming, on-duty sign lit. I’d jump into the small Toyota Publica and tell the driver what he already knew.
“BC Street man.”
“OK GI,” he’d say, then drive like a maniac on the long, hilly road leading to downtown, meter clicking the fare. It was a real joyride. There were no speed limits on the island, and the natives drove on the left.
I got out at the outer fringe of BC Street and the cabby did a screeching U-turn and headed back to Hansen and his next fare. The panorama lay out before me, block after block of nightclubs and massage parlors. In front of each establishment, Okinawan shills of all ages worked the streets and extolled the virtues of the businesses they fronted. They implored the masses of GI’s, from all the representative services, to enter—declaring that their establishment had the best booze and girl-sans on the block. Inside was every brand of alcohol imaginable, and all top shelf. There was bottled as well as tapped beer. There were girls to serve you, girls who danced for you while you drank, and girls to sit with you as you drank and watched the girls who danced. It was a paradise for eighteen and nineteen year olds in full libido overdrive.
Except for me. In a place where even someone with all the charms of the Wolfman could get laid, as long as he had cash, I couldn’t get over.
I was shy and nervous. I was tongue-tied. I was downright pit . . . tee . . . full.
The typical evening went as such: I drank myself blind and then stumbled to the nearest massage parlor. Inside, a smiling Geisha Girl would direct me to a scalding and steaming tub to be soaped and scrubbed, my erection sticking out of the water like a periscope. She would occasionally glance at it, then my way to see if I had any special requests. I remained as quiet as a monk’s vow of silence.
After the bath, she would lay me face down on a massage table and, in bra and panties, walk the length of my back. Pressing down with her heels and digging in with her toes. Whatever the magic was supposed to be, it escaped me. All that happened was the loss of my erection from near rupture.
When finished, she would jump down and I would ease off the table and stand naked. She would glance once at my flaccid penis that now began to show signs of life, then lean against a wall, arms crossed, waiting patiently for a starting time.
Again, I pussied out, pardon the pun.
With a “what a loser” look, her hand would then be out for the cash and she’d take it with a curt, “Domo.” I’d skulk away and head for another bar to get back the drunken feeling I just had steamed and stomped out of me.
The whole shivaree shut down at midnight, the generals wanting us to get our rest. There would be a mass exodus of soldiers back to their respective bases, and after finally nabbing a cab, I’d sleep all the way to Hansen. The driver would wake me and I’d check for roving sentries before getting out, but that was unnecessary. The cabbies were light years ahead of the MP’s.
I’d drunkenly pay him off and wait until he drove away. Then I would stare at the fence with one eye closed. With two, there were two fences. On knuckles and toes and butt up in the air, like it was the hundred yard dash, I took off hoping not to trip over any obstacles. With a fierce leap I flew through space and hit the barrier smashing my face, and I was maybe two feet in the air. I hung there dizzy at such heights, then took a deep breath and laboriously hauled myself up hand-over-hand. At the top . . . I just let myself fall. I hit with a thud and lay with a smile on my face, no longer flagrante delicto. I wanted to sleep right there but remembered that some other guy would be coming back in, and I didn’t want his fat ass landing on me. So I hauled myself to my feet and found my way back to the barracks.
The next night I did the whole thing over.
But I never got laid.
But I always went back.