Brig Story – Part 06

By Tommy Guns

A few hours after my young Corporal left, I again heard footsteps coming down the passageway. The key went in the cell door, and it was opened by the Brig Commander. I jumped to my feet and stood at attention, but he told me to sit back down again and relax. He pulled out his pack of Camels again and offered me one. I couldn’t take one since my wrists were still shackled to my waist, so he unlocked my cuffs and lit my cigarette with his Zippo. He then told me that he had made some phone calls about my case, and that he thought I might be released back into the custody of the Special Rehab Unit.

It seems that the SP, whose nose I had apparently broken, had been counseled by some of my fellow rehabbers, and had wisely decided that it was all a big misunderstanding and he did not want to pursue any charges. That effectively knocked out both the assault and resisting arrest charges. All that was left was the catchall charge of conduct contrary to good order and discipline, the one they use when they just want to fuck with you and can’t figure out how else to do it. It could still spell the end of my career, but the likelihood of a long stint in Portsmouth Prison was effectively gone.

Usually, the charge of conduct that just pisses them off is handled with Office Hours, an Article 15 non-judicial punishment proceeding, by the unit CO. Since I was attached TAD to Balboa Naval Hospital, any NJP would be administered by the Hospital CO, a Navy Captain. This was clearly a break, since my old CO would have broken me down as far as he could, more because of the stupidity I had exhibited rather than the underlying offense. Either way, there was no longer much of a reason to keep me in the Brig, and even if they did, they could no longer consider me General Court Martial bait. My custody status would be reduced. No more shackles, and no more solitary confinement. But I was sort of getting used to both, enjoying them and all the action I was getting. I was confused, not knowing if I wanted to be released from the Brig, or stay and get some more action. The decision was taken out of my hands with the arrival of one of the shrinks from the rehab unit, who was accompanied by two rather large corpsmen with a no nonsense heavy canvas straight jacket, loaded with lots of leather belts.

The three of them entered my cell, handed a release order to the BC, and told him to remove the shackles. After they were removed, the corpsmen moved in on me and tried to put the straight jacket on me. I’d been in one before, and they weren’t getting me in another one without a fight. I guess my reaction had been anticipated, because the next thing I knew I felt a sharp pinprick in my arm, and in a few seconds I dropped like a stone, and had no control over my limbs. In a haze, I remember them strapping me tightly into the straight jacket, and half carrying me out of the cell. I can’t even remember my feet touching the deck, and my next memory is of being strapped to a gurney and being rolled into the rear of an ambulance.

When I finally woke up, I was in a small padded cell, still strapped tightly into the straight jacket, leather restraints around my ankles, and leaning back into a corner of the cell. I had a vile taste in my mouth, the kind you get when you haven’t seen or used a toothbrush in a few days. I couldn’t move my legs, and it was almost impossible to take a deep breath. They had definitely tightened the straps on the straight jacket, and I couldn’t move my arms at all. Not only were they buckled behind me, but my forearms were also being held close to my body by a loop of leather in front as well. I guess they didn’t want to take any chances. Even though I couldn’t move, I could yell, and I did so at the top of my lungs. I couldn’t tell if anybody heard me, because I couldn’t hear a damn thing outside my cell. But I kept it up until I got hoarse, and my dry throat began to hurt. I finally settled down again and drifted off to sleep once more.

When I awoke again, it was to the sound of a key turning in the lock of the well-padded hatch. It swung open silently, and there in the hatchway was Lt. Cdr. Ira ___________, my draft dodging shrink from the rehab unit. He looked at me and smiled with that evil grin of his that made you think he knew exactly what was going through your mind. I didn’t like him much. He was a little too prissy for my tastes, but I did respect him. He had a way of cutting through all of the bullshit we threw his way, and I never saw him surprised or confused about anything that he heard from me or any of the other Special Ops guys under his care. The only time I ever saw him hesitate, or seem unsure about what to do next, was when we first met. It was Dr. Ira who coined the phrase “your thousand yard stare” to describe how I seemed to look through people instead of at them. He was the first person to tell me that he always knew when I was about to go off, because I would stop blinking, my eyes seemed to change color from blue to a cold steel grey, and I got very quiet. He said it was as if I was measuring the guy in front of me to make a move, any move, so I could go into action.

Dr. Ira entered my cell, and challenged me to tell him exactly what was going through my head at that very instant. When I hesitated, he said, “Come on Gunny, spit it out!“ I looked at him and said, “Well Doc, actually I’m sitting here measuring you for a body bag, and wondering if you‘ve got enough balls to let me out of this canvas sack you’ve got me wearing.” Dr. Ira seemed taken aback by my outburst, but quickly regained his composure and laughed at me. This pissed me off for some reason, and I cut loose with a series of expletive laden descriptions of his parentage, manhood and whatever else I could think of at the moment. After I stopped, he looked at me and said, “Are you done? Do you have any more you need to get out of your system before we get down to business here?” It was exactly the right thing to say, at exactly the right time. It just knocked the wind out of my sails and I fell silent.

Dr. Ira came into my cell and sat down beside me on the floor. He reached over and gently turned my face toward him and said, “Are you ready to talk about it now Gunny?” In a quiet voice I started to tell him what had happened to me the past couple of days, and the conflict I felt inside of me about waking up in the Brig. The idea that I might be spending a good portion of my young life in Portsmouth Prison was both frightening and exciting at the same time. When I told him about the forced sex I had had in the Brig while shackled, and the incredible arousal I experienced during it, he just nodded his head and said, “I understand Gunny. In a way it’s quite normal.” He went on to explain that we are all sexual animals, and that it is only our environment and peer pressure that dictates the gender preference for the outlet of our sexual needs. At this point I remember thinking, “Holy shit, this guy is something else!” Here I was confessing to not only having engaged in forced homosexual acts, but also that I was aroused by, and enjoyed, them as well.

I knew that Dr. Ira had long ago concluded that I, as well as a number of other guys in the unit, was gay. He told me that during one of our individual therapy sessions, and assured me that there was nothing in my SRB or medical chart about it. He said it was the logical and natural extension of the close bond that men form with each other, and even more so when they must rely on each other for their very survival. In short, he said that despite what I might hear to the contrary, what I had done was quite normal and that I needed to not only come to grips with my own sexuality, but also learn how to embrace it as an inescapable part of what made me uniquely me.

We chatted some more, and when it looked like he was getting ready to leave, I asked him how long I had to stay in this cell and restrained the way I was. He told me he was going to have me moved to another room, but that for the next few days I was going to be sedated and four-pointed to the bed. I asked him why, since I had clearly calmed down, but he told me there was another reason for what was going to happen. He said, “Gunny, not only do I want to make sure that you’re back on an even keel again, but I also need to come up with some plausible scenario to write this episode off as an attack of PTSD. You may not understand what I’m doing for you, but believe me when I tell you that this is the only way I can save your ass and your career for you. In another week or so I’ll sit down with the CO and see if I can get him to shelve the NJP. In the meantime, just enjoy the rest period and hope for the best.” With that, Dr. Ira left the cell, and I heard him give instructions to the Corpsman to move me to one of the side rooms, fully restrained to the bed, and that he was going to enter a medication order for me.


To be continued …



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