An anthology of two novellas and three short stories portraying the experiences of young, gay soldiers in the Vietnam War.
"Fixin to Die"--is the story of a young, gay soldier who falls in love with his best straight friend and how the two come to terms with each other while staying committed to their military mission.
"House of the Rising Sun"--is a love story of two young, gay soldiers in training to go to Vietnam, and what happens when they are forced apart and sent to the war.
"The Raunch"--is the story of a monthly party in a military unit in Vietnam and its impact on the soldiers and the mission.
"Cherry Boy"--is the story of a new soldier in Vietnam who has to come to terms with his status as both a new guy and a virgin and when he comes of age as a man and soldier, neither loss of innocence is particularly comfortable or satisfying.
"Separation"--is the story of two best friends in the Vietnam War who return to the states and separate from the military. The story encompasses their last day in the military, their cross-country road trip and the realizations and revelations about their relationship as they say good-bye.
I didn't want to sleep anyway. We were hurling through the night, speeding further and further away from a painful past and breaking through to a wide open future. I didn't want to miss a thing. We both wanted to explore this new sense of freedom, yet we were both also slightly unnerved by the sense of being cast adrift in the World. The sensation of being out of the Army was thick and tangible. We had grown accustomed to being completely enveloped by the military matrix--led here and there--told what to do. We were used to ourselves in a very ordered world. Now we had suddenly been released into a world where any order to life came from within and was not absolutely imposed from without. We wanted to escape from the constraints of the past few years in the military, but we both keenly felt the anxiety of this panoramic openness outside of the Army.
We sat quietly in our seats, each in our own separate space trying to adjust to these new circumstances. The effects of the speed began to take hold and the speeding drug began to match the momentum of the speeding car, dissolving the barriers between us, at least for a while. I realized that Willie had been feeling as emotional and confused as I had, but like me, could not communicate it. With the barriers gone the psychological atmosphere changed. We talked. We laughed. We explored the universe within each other and wrapped ribbons of highway around steel-belted radials.