I’m between tours in Afghanistan and, for no apparent reason, temporarily stationed in Aviano, Italy. Other than getting in the required cockpit flight hours there wasn’t much for me to do, so I had ample opportunity to explore the region on R&R furloughs.
A few buddies of mine found this idyllic lake at the base of the Alps with a good jogging path and some killer scenery sunbathing on the rocks. It was late July when I happened to be there alone and took a breather from the run, pulled off the path, wiped the sweat off my face with the sleeve of my US Air Force t-shirt and tried to hit on her.
“Do you speak English?” She signals back with her fingers “just a little.”
So I stick to the simple things – the beautiful scenery, weather, our names. I’m not making much headway because I know virtually zero Italian but I’m so damn curious that I point to the tattoos on her flank and inquire: “What are the stars for?”
She’s dumbfounded even though she uses her hand to move her right tit enough to get a sightline at what I’m pointing at. But about twenty-five feet up the rocks there’s a knot of men playing cards and smoking cigarettes. He steps out from amidst them and clambers down toward us with an answer in a thick Italian accent, but respectable English: “One for every American soldier my wife’s fucked.” That she seems to get and she covers the stars with her palm and her face flushes red.
Now I’m an Air Force pilot, not a soldier, but I let it slide and ask her point blank. “That true?” She looks up at him, he nods a little, and she answers: “Sì, è vero.” Now we’re making headway, so I press on.
“Why are they different sizes?” They converse back and forth for a bit in Italian, she giggles, and points to my crotch.
Like I said, I was only stationed there for a few weeks so I never got to see my “star” on her side. But I’m for damn sure curious how big it is.