Having recently survived Dorm Move-In Day and having settled nicely into my new one-bedroom apartment (which beats the hell out of any barracks I’ve ever seen) I found myself with some free time on my hands. In the Army, there are several ways to go about dealing with boredom, including cleaning rifles, cleaning equipment, cleaning the barracks, answering police calls, more cleaning, area beautification, and drinking heavily. As you can probably already guess, I chose the last option.
It was about 2200 hours as I walked up High Street past the Burger King looking for a nice quiet place to sit down and have a beer or two. Jake’s Bar is a well-known establishment amongst the veterans but I decided that some place classier must do. I have nothing against Jake’s. My parents frequented the humble little bar when they came here back in the 80s so I will always hold a special place in my heart for the establishment. However, I had just received some back pay from my GI Bill so I decided to treat myself. Some vintage scotch, maybe, or even twenty year-old Irish whiskey. Wash all that down with a Stout or IPA as I relax in my private booth and ponder the finer things in life. Only the finest would do for me on this night!
So, of course, I chose to go to Barnaby’s. Why? It’s simple, really, because I’m a bloody idiot. If you want a place filled with loud music, flashing lights, cheap beer, and people dancing provactively left and right, this place is for you. Coming from my particular back ground where flashing lights and loud noises mean someone was trying to kill you, one can imagine how this went over for me. This, however, is a story for another day. For this article, dear readers, I will focus on something more valiant and heroic. For those of you who have been to these “clubs” you have seen this kind of action. I’m talking about things you only see in fields of my kind of expertise, firefighting, law enforcement, etc. For this article, I am, of course, talking about a Band of Sisters or Brothers in their own sense.
As dancers bombarded me, flashing lights blinding and followed by sonic booms of bass, I retreated to a secluded section of Barnaby’s. Here, in this booth on the second floor, I was able to better take in my surroundings when I noticed a girl next to me. She was intoxicated, clearly, and from the way she sat I could tell her bladder had run its course. What happened next was shocking. She got up to use the bathroom and was escorted by four of her female cohorts.
Strange they all had to go at once, I thought to myself. Only then to see they all return, moments later, as one. In fact, as I watched from my observation point, they all danced together, got drinks together, and when a guy came over to flirt with one, the rest surrounded her, covering ever angle of approach, leaving him only one option: retreat.
Sufficed to say, all preoccupations with getting hammered for the night were forgotten. All I could focus on were these women. These few. These proud. This Band of Sisters.
Upon leaving a short time later, I was in shock to see that only four of the five had walked out behind me when they had been inseparable before. Normally, I would have offered to walk the last young lady home to ensure her safety, but my fears proved unfounded. The four girls actually split up into two groups of two and went back in! Even more shockingly, less than ten minutes later, all five came back out. They were pursued by a couple of what looked like inebriated gentlemen, but an exchange of words later, they retreated back inside. The five regrouped with more friends only to be joined by more less-intoxicated friends who then walked them home.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have not seen this kind of thing happen since leaving the service. Seriously, these girls displayed a comradery shown best to civilians in Marine recruitment commercials. This edition is dedicated to them, and people believe that women can’t be in combat.
Alecc Costanzi is a fourth-year student majoring in English and minoring in creative writing. He can be reached at AC688759@wcupa.edu.