NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO, CA — For Ensign Jamie Peters, the world was her oyster. Having made the commute to base from Pacific Beach with nary a red light or trolley crossing, and claiming an enviable parking spot in a lot where fights are an everyday occurrence, Peters was on cloud nine.
After a quick once-over in the rear-view mirror and a deep, meditative breath, she placed her cover smartly upon her head and emerged from her vehicle. Stopping for a moment to admire the rosy hues of the rising sun and shivering slightly from the brisk morning chill, Peters contentedly sighed at what promised to be a prototypically beautiful San Diego day.
Firmly grasping her grande, half-caff, vanilla-soy latte in her left hand, Peters began the momentous trek to the pier one hundred yards away. Head on a swivel, Peters’ gaze was suddenly and involuntarily riveted by an aquaflage silhouette. Her eyes grew wide with anticipation at the sailor she beheld. A Third Class Petty Officer…? No! A Second! she silently squealed. After calculating his target angle and scrutinizing his eyes for any betrayal of acknowledgement, she felt an electric chill run up her spine and her right hand instinctively sharpen into a fearsome knife. He sees me! This is the moment I’ve been waiting for!
At 0617, Pacific Standard Time, Ensign Jamie Peters lost her innocence.
“I don’t know, it was pretty disappointing,” a disillusioned Peters huffed. “I mean, I got saluted when I was commissioned, but that was orchestrated. This was spontaneous. It was supposed to be … special. Instead, he just lazily chopped the air and half-heartedly mumbled ‘G’morning, ma’am.’” Peters breaks down. “I mean, who even knows how many other officers he’s saluted?”
Lt. Junior Grade Courtney Richardson, a jaded, second-tour Surface Warfare Officer who elected to wear civvies to work that morning and eluded military courtesies for the entirety of her passage, witnessed the scarring exchange. “It was pretty comical, actually. Peters looked like a blueberry lightning rod with a stick up its ass, and this dude knew exactly how to play her. She was so obvious and desperate about it all, the guy was right to blow her off like that. It’s for her own good. I mean, geez, has she ever been to a bar?”
Richardson briefly breaks from her interview with Duffel Blog to feign sympathy for a hapless sailor bawling about his financial insolvency and adulterous wife of three months.
“Once she realizes that her job description entails shuttling paperwork up and down the chain of command for a couple of lazy, irresponsible morons who joined the Navy for a paycheck and free health care, and getting reamed out by impotent O-4s suffering mid-life crises, she’ll come to.”
Richardson apathetically hands the distraught youth a used Kleenex from another woeful sailor’s counseling session.
“You can’t care too much about anything in this line of work. You’ll turn into a tool.”