Michael turned on one of the valves and stood there, letting the hot water pour over his body, then as if out of nowhere, he started. “Okay, what's the deal with you people and the co-ed situation. I mean, I get it. Life's rough, there's practicality in dropping the gender specific social scheme, but come on. You guys have got to be kidding yourselves if you tell me you can't look at those girls without your blood pumping between the legs.”
The other men were looking at Michael with a combination of odd glances.
“Seriously, someone has to answer me this question. I have to sleep next to a beautiful young woman who sees it fit to get naked in front of me every chance she gets. I can't go a day without getting a painfully massive hard on because half the girls in this place are like models packing heat and they have no qualms with undressing at the drop of a hat. Am I the only one?”
John started laughing, which seemed to loosen the mood as the others too began to laugh. “Listen Michael, the world has obviously changed since you left it," He said. "The girls here are just soldiers, like we are. There aren't any gender specific roles, there isn't any form of segregation by sex or ethnicity. There were so few people after the bombs that we couldn't be bothered with what color skin was. I guess we couldn't bother telling girls to cover themselves up either. Getting naked next to a girl is like getting naked next to your brother, there's no difference.”
“Don't you find them sexually attractive?”
The guys were in a moment of thought and it donned on Michael that perhaps they didn't.
“Is that it? You've defeminized them to the point of not seeing them as sexual beings? Do you guys even have sex?”
“Come on Michael, what do you think we are? Of course we still have sex.”
“Well when the hell does it ever happen?”
“Around here? Not that often, we're in a FOB. I'm sure some couples get busy in dark corners around the base, but it's frowned upon to have relations during an operation. That's where we are now, on operation.”
Michael nodded, “Alright, I just had to ask because I've been having my own little battles every time I walk in here and a twenty something year old bombshell is drying off her wet body. I swear if I was any more endowed I'd probably pass out due to blood loss from the brain.”
John patted him on the shoulder as he left the shower. “From what I can see, you'd have to be quite a bit more endowed for that to be any concern to you.”
Michael sneered, “Yeah well,” he was about to make a disparaging comment of his own, but on closer inspection, realized he'd have a hard time insulting John on the basis of size. Michael laughed, he couldn't help but comment on it. “Jesus Christ how do you fit that in your jumpsuit?”
“With great difficulty my friend. Great difficulty,” John said as he walked out of the shower.
The others were still laughing, Micheal along with them. He turned back into the water and continued to laugh for a few minutes before a half melted piece of soap on the shower floor triggered his memory. For a quick moment, Michael saw that man's head explode again. With the shake of his head, he let the water wash away the flashback and sighed. He knew that moment was going to change him, he just didn't know how until now. He wondered, paranoid and uncomfortable, how often the sight would haunt him in the future.