So here I sit, awaiting the judge’s decision. Draft dodging’s a major crime for anyone, but these days, the court seems hell-bent on punishing the women. Equality – right? It’s a real titty-twister that the sexual revolution came full circle. How can you argue?
Since the 1940’s the country’s been in one war or another: found it profitable, found it bred the hurtful kind of nationalism that kept the country going – bred the kind of fear that kept people watching the news, kept people watching advertisements.
Too bad when the big one started the country’s mentality changed. The military was full of tight-ass meat heads. No one was ready to leap in for a life of starched collars and barked orders. It was a shit conflict that the big boys made up to keep the economy going anyways.
So they brought in the draft, first time since seventy-three. They said there was no choice. ‘Cept now they couldn’t just pick on the boys.
The ads ranged from serious – ANY PERSON UNREGISTERED AT AN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 25 WOULD BE CONSCRIPTED – to light-hearted – ANYTHING HE CAN DO I CAN DO BETTER.
The posters were fucking everywhere – like we’d forget.
The rebuttal was swift, and every ninth-rate fashion college got filled to the brim with the daughters of people who could afford it.
I guess that was the start of how I ended up behind bars. My cell smells like piss, but I’m sure the urine is covering something worse: it’s a prisoners cleaning product – Piss-sol. There’s male draft dodgers too, but they’re down over in block Y in their jean jumpers – blue for boys, pink for girls.
I’d made it to the army’s initial entry training. My parents had to pull my fingernails out of the back-seat of the car, like a cat they were dropping at the vet. Said there was nothing left to do. Said they’d tried. I guess they did. When my letter came my parents tried to find a post-secondary school: teaching, baking, finishing – didn’t happen. They were all full. Never before were the women of Chattanooga so well-educated.
The training was not separated by gender: equal rights, equal proficiency, equal preparation. The army even started handing out Uncle Sam’s own condoms: double thick.
It was the chicks who made the hazing vicious. You’d think it was the men. Sure – there was assault, but the women formed packs. If you didn’t fit in – you got mauled.
I guess it wasn’t Lauren’s fault. Not entirely. But it wouldn’t have started without her. After all, lukewarm water and Sharpies get old fast when you’re all crammed together in a 20-sleeper dorm.
And I mean, everyone did it back then – back in high school. Shot a couple of pictures with a digital camera, emailed them to a boyfriend. Back when phones could only take blurry pictures where you could pick out an erotic dark patch on pale skin. Hell, we’d done it with our phones even after we knew the government was keeping everything. But these ones were old – jail bait. I’d done it before we knew our emails were kept, before facial recognition got decent, before we knew the appetite of the net, and that it kept every single byte. It grew fat off our home-made porn and keyed-in sex.
She took my rookie photo and reverse image searched it through some site: must have paid for the good shit too – none of this freemium. I thought I’d cleared it all before I joined. But, lo and behold, some loser ex must have kept an online spank-bank. Pixels. Pixels are responsible for more jizz than all the tits of the 19th century.
I don’t really want to get into it. How could I even talk about it? Tell you how I felt? One morning the whole men’s dorm was crammed to the rafters with Uncle Sam’s own domes. They’d been inflated like balloons, and inside each one was a rolled up picture of yours truly. The images fluttered out like butterflies each time they popped.
Eight different pictures. The guys traded them like baseball cards.
No, I’m not saying Lauren deserved it, but really? How long did it take her and the other cannibals to blow up those rubbers? How many pictures did they cut out? Roll up?
I tried to leave the right way at first, but that’s the draft for you. The Major wouldn’t hear any of it. Had his hand under the desk the whole time I was in there filing a complaint, didn’t even bother to look me in the eyes.
Hell, no one bothered to look me in the eye. I went a little crazy. Sure as shit no one was talking to me. Most of them had the decency to tuck the evidence away when I walked into the mess or the gym. Mind you, there were the others who lacquered my locker with a decorative collage – it wouldn’t even come off with paint thinner.
So I formed a plan. It’s not hard to do: pull apart a Venus, and melt it to an Oral-B with a Bic.
When I didn’t kill Lauren I knew I needed to leave training. Of course, I didn’t get far, didn’t even get out the front gates of the compound.
No one has even mentioned the assault since I got here. I guess that’s the right term for it – assault – it’s what I call it when I think about it, brings up more images of fists and baseball bats than blood. I figured that’s what they’d get me for once I was behind bars, but that would mean they would have to share the whole story. They’d have to draw back the camo-patterned curtain. Officially I got locked in for dodging. Nobody was going to question another girl on the run.
So here I am waiting, pretty in pink.
Header photograph: By Spc. William Hatton (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/35072) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division attack male Soldiers holding pads in a women’s self-defense class.)