It happened in October of ’83, a few weeks after I transferred from the Army Fire Department into the alarm room on Whaler Air Force Base. I’d just finished my initial two weeks of dispatching training on day shift, and was working the midnight shift solo. I’d turned the lights down low to keep an eye on the station through the picture window’s one way glass. That’s when I spotted an Army fire captain, Chief Lee, walking through the truck stalls. He’d stopped by to “talk story” with me, as they say in Hawai’i. Meaning “shoot the breeze”. He shared some Army gossip with me and left five minutes later.
I didn’t think about his visit until the next day, when three of the paramedics strolled into the alarm room. They eyed me lasciviously, laughed, and asked me to show them my rug-burned knees. Huh?
My knees, I told them, were just fine!
Finally, one of them took pity on my confusion and said, “Ooh, girl! Jaku’s talking trash about you and some Army fire dude doing the dirty on the floor in here last night.”
“What?” My heart bounced around in my chest. “Chief Lee dropped by after a … a … late alarm,” I stammered. “But we weren’t …” My face and neck burned.
Turns out Jaku had told them that after midnight, he’d been listening to a music tape in his car when he spotted a red fire chief’s pickup truck in front of the station and had noticed the alarm room lights turned down low.
“I peeked through the alarm room’s back window and – whoa doggies! Liz and that Army dude was doin’ it on the floor! She rode that Army dude like a wild woman, moaning like a bitch in heat. Hey, no lie, brah!” Jaku pantomimed our wild sex—my legs, he said, were all the way over my head—titillating the firemen and bringing him the attention he desperately craved.
Glib and superficial charm can make a sociopath seem more entertaining than everyone else (this was certainly true of Jaku). A desperate need for attention at any cost results in them taking frequent social or physical risks, such as telling bold faced lies without considering the possible repercussions.
“I live with my boyfriend, Billy,” I stammered, “and I don’t …” My distress metamorphosed into anger. “Next time I see Jaku, I’ll give that lewd little liar a piece of my mind.”
The guys walked out then except for Brian Smith. He, like most of the firemen, feared Jaku. After swearing me to secrecy he said, “We laugh at Jaku’s stories but we know that if you wanted to make love, you wouldn’t do it on a hard dirty floor.” He assured me that the guys knew Jaku lied whenever it gave him a chance to grab the spotlight. “No need to worry.”
“Thanks.” I relaxed. “I feel better. Next time I see Jaku—”
“You’d best do nothing,” Brian interrupted.