“Back on duty with his gun crew, Tom the artist continued to be frustrated. Every day, he was surrounded by the laughter and horseplay of his soldier buddies. Sometimes the play was blatantly sexual.
The men were always goosing each other and playing grab-ass. In the showers, they would “accidentally” drop the soap and taunt one another to “Go ahead—bend over and pick it up!”
It was all in fun, of course. Nothing truly sexual ever happened in the bunkers, at least not to Tom’s knowledge and, given the relentless lack of privacy, probably not at all.
Anyway, all one had to do was wait for evening and the blackout. Several nights a week, Tom made the rounds, touring the Esplanadi, the marketplace, the waterfront, the park. The soldiers he met out there in the dark needed no excuses to bend over. But he could not draw these men. The artist in Tom could only continue to store it all away ‘for the duration’.”
Tom said that the war years were some of the happiest of his life. It brought forth a level of camaraderie that he had longed for since his youth, first finding it in the officer’s academy and then continuing throughout the rest of his life.
Published: 25th April 2021Tags: #TomOfFinland101, 101 Quiz, The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero