“He ain’t makin’ fun’a’you, Skorp! He really don’t know nothin’!”
“He better not be!” Partially placated, glaring at Mitchell, “No! Ya don’t think’a stuff ‘like pigs ’n’mud ’n’slimy stuff’,” he said sarcastically. “Ya think’a stuff like this here picture!” Reaching for the postcard, taking it from Frank, he studied it a moment, then, to the complete amazement of both boys, reaching through the fly of his shorts, pulled his albeit flaccid but adult-sized penis through, closed his fist around it, and …
January 14, 1944
A few months back, Skorupski and one of his roommates, as immature young men may occasionally do, dared and double-dared the other to be the first to “whip it out” so they might match the size of their “pricks,” then, as more than occasionally happens, one thing led to another and the two ended up masturbating, ostensibly to see who could shoot his “jizim” the furthest, but really, though neither boy touched the other, the thrill of knowing the other was watching added a new dimension of prurience to what, up until then, had been a solitary endeavor.
Now, sensing the excitement of knowing he was being watched, his penis reacted and, “There,” Skorupski said proudly, “now that’s a real boner! An’ here’s what’j’ya do when ya jack-off.” Leaning back on the bed, so they’ll better be able to see and appreciate the size of his fully erect penis, holding the postcard in one hand, his penis in the other, the sense of eroticism coming from being watched rather than the image on the postcard, Skorupski began to masturbate.
Indeed the two boys did watch.
Mitchell stared at Skorupski’s penis because with each downward stroke of his hand the glans popped out of the foreskin reminding him… of the twitching nose of a rabbit.
Not quite the reaction Skorupski had hoped for.
As for Frank: Watching Skorupski masturbate repulsed him, and yet, strangely, watching caused a stretching in the crotch of his underpants that made him squirm.
He wanted the boys to see him “come,” wanted them to see that it’s not really pee but some other stuff called jizim, but, wisely thinking better of it, forcing an unseen show of willpower, stopping just short of ejaculation, his eyes closed, the older boy concentrated a moment, then reluctantly shoved his penis back in his shorts, where, as a tent pole in a tent, it jutted upward. “When ya get a boner,” he said almost breathlessly, “like this,” proudly, grabbing his erect penis around the material of his shorts, “then ya stick it in a girl’s cunt an’ ya jack-off, only then it’s called…”
“A girl’s big enough there so’s you can put your hand in it, too?”
“Oh, Jesus!” Skorupski sighed. “No! Ya don’t ‘put your hand in it,’ ya stupid prick! Ya move your ass up’n’down.” Sharply raising and lowering his pelvis three times for emphasis. “An ya do like that till it feels real good, till it feels kind’a like you’re peein’. An’ that’s what’s called fuckin’.”
Taking the postcard from Skorupski, turning it to the light, studying it carefully, “But,” Frank said, “I still don’t know what it looks like.”
“Ya dumb dago!” Skorupski yelled, jabbing his finger towards the card. “That there’s what a cunt looks like!”
Shaking his head, “Sorry, Skorp,” he said emphatically. “But I still don’t see nothin’ there! How’s ’bout you, Mitch?”
Taking the card from his friend, looking at it for a full three seconds, “Nah. Her, uh, titties, yeah, but nothin’ else.”
Becoming frustrated because they did not see what his imagination did see, whatever that might be, and also, stopped short of ejaculation twice within the last twenty minutes, having an urge to get back to the task at hand, “Ya asked me to teach ya ’bout girls and I taught’j’ya! Only ya two dumb shits don’t wanna learn nothin’!”
Glancing downward to be sure his penis was safely ensconced in his shorts, bounding off the bed, rushing to the door, yanking it open, “Get outta here ya stupid, dago shit an’ take that dumb sheeny prick wi’ch’ya!”
Walking slowly back to their dormitory, “See, it’s like I told you, Mitch, girls got nothin’”
“Yeah. Well least-ways now we know what everything’s called.”
“Yeah!” Punching him on the shoulder, Frank ducked as Mitchell swung back. “Ya sheeny prick, ya!”
“Yeah,” swinging again, “Ya dago, uh, tittie!” He missed again.
Day is done.
“Nine o’clock! Lights out!”
Stamp books closed, all trading stopped.
Letters to mom and dad held off, to be written the next day.
Checkerboards folded. Red and black checkers and black and white chessmen put into their boxes and the boxes put onto the game shelf.
Hands and face scrubbed. Teeth brushed.
Squeaking of bedsprings. Rustle of bedding.
A whisper: “Shhh!” A giggle: “Quiet!” A burst of laughter: “Settle down!”
“Quiet in there! Squad leaders making rounds.”
“Floor two, west section all accounted for!”
“Thank you, Frankie. Good night.”
“You’re welcome, Miss Stoldig. Good night.”
Two hundred and fifty-two boys lay in warm, clean beds. Eyes closed or looking at the dimly iridescent ceiling, or through the window at the slivered, silver moon.
Muted, as though coming from a great distance…
Soft. Sad. Crying.
Day is done.
Gone the sun.
From the lake.
From the hills, from the sky.
Day is done.
For the boys lying awake, it was their time of personal reflection. Sadly thinking of a loved and missed mother, father, brother, sister… home.
Remembering for all the make-believe, even though it was remote and far away from this small, peaceful place in southern Wisconsin, there was a war being fought, and those that had remembered that their father or big brother was “there”… wherever “there” was.
John Wayne. Randolph Scott. The Lone Ranger and Captain Midnight.
Pictures in pencil or crayon: A B-17 Flying Fortress with its bomb bay open. “Bombs away!”
Bombs falling on the “bad guys”: on Germany, on Japan.
A Lockheed Lightening with its white- and blue-winged star.
“Off we go, into the wild blue yonder,
flying high into the sky!”
Children. American children.
For them the war was far away, a distant, romantic montage of movie shadows and radio sounds.
RATATATATATAT! The staccato burst of machine guns.
“Tail gunner to pilot!”
“Hey, Cap, there goes another good Nip!”
The Japanese Mitsubishi Zero, fire and smoke spewing from its engine, spiraled madly towards earth.
“Yeah, good shootin’, Joe!”
“Say hello to Tojo, Nip!”
“Squad leader to squad! Hiennies coming in at two o’clock!”
“I say, Captain. There goes another ‘good Hiennie’!”
The German Mercedes Messerschmitt, fire and smoke spewing from its engine, spiraled madly towards earth.
“Say hello to Hitler, Hiennie!”
They lay in their warm, clean beds, sleeping, dozing, or talking softly. They talk of this and that: of parents, of brothers, of sisters, of pets, of friends… of home.
Burrowing a little deeper in their blankets, soon all are asleep.
Thin, wispy clouds scuttled across the sky.
The wind blew, rustling dead and dried leaves.
All was quiet…
Day was done.
Mitchell was on an extremely comfortable plateau. He felt the cool breeze that came from beneath the parted window and heard the soft, even breathing of the other three boys. Pulling the blanket over his head, he felt the warm vapor of his breath, and his comfort, both physical and mental, was complete.
The well of sleep deepened.