Confessions of a Drunken Coastie, Part 17
Editor’s Note: From 1988 until 1991, Crash Barry — then known as “Egg” — served as a sailor in the U.S. Coast Guard aboard a 210-foot-long ship that patrolled from the Gulf of Maine to the Gulf of Mexico. This is the seventeenth of his true stories about fighting the War on Drugs and the War on Haitian Refugees.
“WHO THE FRIG ARE YOU?” I yelled at the hairy, naked man sitting on the couch in my new, government-issued apartment. “AND WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IN MY HOUSE?”
“Hi, I’m Jeremy. I’m pals with your roommate…”
“WHY ARE YOU SITTING NAKED IN MY LIVING ROOM?” I barked, then turned toward the door. Several Coastie friends and a couple hot civilian chicks were on their way up the stairs. Our softball team just beat some Navy guys from the base in Kittery. Now it was time to party. “And you better tell me quick.” I pointed at him in a stern and possibly threatening manner.
“Uhhhh,” he paused, then looked away. “You better talk to Billy about that.” He swigged his beer and gestured toward my bedroom door, which was closed. My roommate’s bedroom door was open, the room still empty of furniture. I’d only met Billy once. He was stationed aboard another Coast Guard cutter moored to the same pier as the Tumultuous in Newcastle, an island at the mouth of the Piscataquis River, on Maine and New Hampshire’s watery border.
“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?” my shipmate Red roared, walking into the apartment lugging a case of Miller Lite. “Egg, why is there a naked dude in your friggin’ living room?”
“I’m trying to figure that out and this…”
“Wow,” Tracy interrupted, stopping in the doorway. “Who is the naked guy?”
“A naked guy?” Anne asked, squeezing beside Tracy.
“Jeremy,” I said, pointing at the dude. “I just met him.”
“Oh,” Anne said, putting down the box she’d been carrying. She was a detective with the Portsmouth Police Department, presently off-duty, where Tracy worked as a dispatcher. “What’s going on here?”
I walked across the living room and opened my bedroom door. There, on my mattress, my roommate and a woman I’d never seen before were copulating like dogs. I quickly shut the door and turned back to my friends, my face trembling in disbelief and anger. “Why the frig is he screwing on my bed?” I asked, pointing again at Jeremy, who wasn’t even trying to cover up his genitalia or erection.
“She’s a real pro,” Jeremy said, grinning as he stood up and walked to my bedroom. “We met her at a bar over in Kittery.” He grabbed the doorknob, smiled and reentered the boudoir, closing the door behind him.
“Oh my friggin’ word,” Tracy giggled. A pretty redhead, she was smart and a real wiseacre, and had been dating Staples, off and on, for the past six months. “Did you see the ass on that guy?” She whistled and everyone, but me, laughed.
“Egg, are you OK?” Anne asked. Her background as a single mom and tough-but-sexy cop gave her the skills to deal with practically any situation. “You want me to handle this?”
“Yeah,” I said. “Please.”
“This must be her purse,” Tracy said, picking up a black bag from the kitchen table. She handed the pocketbook to Anne. “Not yours, right, Egg?”
I couldn’t even smile. Anne reached into the bag and pulled out a wallet and opened it.
“Egg, how do you spell your last name?” she asked.
“That’s her last name too.” Anne nodded. “She’s 25 and lives in Portsmouth.”
“Kin of yours?” Red asked, cracking a new beer. “Hah!”
“No,” I scowled. “Not related to anyone in Portsmouth.”
“You want them out of your room?” Anne asked.
“I want ’em out of the apartment,” I said. “Otherwise, I’m gonna kick his…”
“Calm down, Egg.” Tracy handed me a beer. “We don’t want Anne to have to arrest you for assault or disorderly.”
“That’s right,” Anne said. “’Cuz I would enjoy roughing you up.” She smiled and patted me on the arm reassuringly. “So instead of any more trouble, I’m gonna ask Maureen and the boys to leave for the night. We’ll figure out a peaceful resolution.”
“Maureen?” I groaned and shook my head. “Did you say Maureen?”
“Yes.” Anne nodded. “You know her?”
“No.” I grimaced. “That’s my mom’s name.”
The room went silent. Then Anne made a fist and banged fiercely on the bedroom door. “OK IN THERE!” Her voice was strong and authoritative. “PORTSMOUTH POLICE. I WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU FOLKS. SO PUT ON SOME CLOTHES AND COME OUT HERE.” She paused. “PLEASE.”
A minute later, the threesome was standing in the living room.
Anne had her badge out. “You two, listen up,” she said to Jeremy and Maureen, who were both fully dressed. “Grab all your possessions and vacate the premises immediately.” She turned to me. “What about this guy?” — indicating Billy, who stood before us, sweaty and nervous, wearing only shorts. “He’s your roommate?”
“Yeah,” I said. “But not for long. I’m gonna file a complaint with the housing officer aboard the ship tomorrow. I’m sure as hell not gonna live with him anymore.”
“Do you have another place to stay?” Anne asked Billy. “At least for tonight?”
“I guess,” he said. “But I gotta grab some stuff. We’re getting underway tomorrow. Gonna be gone two months.” He frowned. “Just having a little party before I go back to sea.” He put his hands up. “No big deal.”
“ON MY FRIGGIN’ BED!” I yelped, taking a couple steps toward him. “MY FRIGGIN’ BED!”
“Yeah, well. Sorry about that.” He shrugged. “It’s just I don’t have a bed yet.”
Crash Barry’s mother’s name in this story has been changed to protect her innocence. Crash’s Maine summer tour continues with speeches across the state. Details and signed books available at crashbarry.com.