• Frankie Dawson

Dumb Ass White Girl, Wash Me Clean Water by Frankie Dawson

Dumb Ass White Girl

It was a beautiful tropical day in the Philippines, the wind was blowing, beautiful palm trees. The barracks was loud with soul music blaring through the slats.

There were no windows, a whole wall was metal slats to allow the breeze to circulate the rooms. We had very little privacy, back then in the 70’s we were all girls.


As far as I can remember, there were two barracks for women. No men were allowed. It was like a hugh 2 story, college dorm with maybe 30 girls per barracks. There was a big kitchen in the middle of the barracks, it was so big, you didn’t know or see the girls on the other side. At the north end there was a lounge for visitors down stairs which hardly no body used, we kept our boyfriends secret. Or maybe we didn’t want our right had to know what our left hand was doing.


“Where you going girl?” I asked

I had just walked in the barracks after work at the hospital, you couldn’t miss her; she was ironing her dress for a date that night, I could tell.


Blacks and whites didn’t mix much back then, especially the women. We had nothing to do with the white girls, and they had nothing to do with us, except at the hospital, but you had to. But that’s another story.


“Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies!” she said.

“You better watch yourself, it’s dangerous out there, chile.” I retorted back. And walked back over to my room on the other side of the hall.


Everybody knew that the wives of the Philippino men could put a $60 hit on any American woman if we had relations with their husbands.

With all the men on the base, you’d think you’d be a fool to chance that.


A few months passed, I saw the room was empty when I came in from work.


I went in to take my shower. I remember the water felt so good and hot, we had so many soldiers admitted that day from Viet Nam. Some of the wounds were so gruesome, my God, how could people do that to each other?


Wash me water, wash the memories, wash this war out of my life.

I dried off, put the towel around me and asked the first snotty little white girl a question.

Hey, where’s the white girl that lived down the hall?

“She’s dead.”

“What? I just saw her last week!’


“Well looks like the wife had enough, and had $60 to spare!”said the stranger.


“Dumb ass white girl, dumb ass white girl…” as my eyes swell us with tears.


I didn’t even know her name… I didn’t even try to be friendly. My eyes swelled up with tears, a lone tear ran down my cheek, hit my chest and disappeared behind my damp towel. Lord, help me.


“Wonder what they're gonna to tell her parents...”

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