Bullitt was a gazoony, working big top for the first time since getting out of the joint. He went to jail for possessing heroin and actually managed to kick the addiction inside. He had stringy long blonde hair, a goatee, a couple knife-fight scars, and some bad tattoos.
The hard physical labor of the big top crew had given him a powerful body, strong muscles obvious, especially in his back and shoulders. He liked the hard work; it kept him clean and out of trouble.
Like the rest of the gazoonies, he smoked Camels and drank his paycheck.
He was quite a romantic, Bullitt was, longing for a girlfriend to help him down the road. At one point he wanted me, but I was already hooked up with the canvas boss and not about to look elsewhere. One day, quite by chance, I overheard him say, "There's only one thing of his that I want, and that's Mary."
I was touched.
But the gazoony code being what it was, Bullitt didn't even try. Instead, he made sure that I was happy and that the canvas boss treated me right.
Bullitt had one tattoo that I asked him about: the name "JANET" was inscribed around his left nipple, the letters circling the brown areola. I asked him who Janet was, thinking she must have been the love of his life, maybe an ex-wife, certainly a lover or special girlfriend.
He looked embarrassed.
"Naw, Mary. I got drunk as hell one night. I don't remember getting it; all I remember is waking up the next day and there it was. I don't even know anyone named Janet."
Poor Bullitt. He had an unknown woman's name tattooed on his chest forever. I hoped, for his sake, that Janet showed him a good time before he got the tattoo.
Happily, though, Bullitt's longing for a woman did not go unrequited. A girl gazoony joined the show; she actually wanted to work big top. She worked hard. Although not as strong as most of the guys, she could hold her own and did. She was also blonde and quite pretty. Bullitt fell hard and fast.
One evening, the canvas boss had Sweet Dave drive the stake driver to the next lot early and told the girl gazoony to go with him. Bullitt got freaked out; he figured that Sweet Dave had designs on the girl -- HIS girl -- and he pushed up seat wagons with furious energy so that he could get off the lot and chase them down just to make sure that nothing happened.
He practically flew that seat wagon down the road to the next lot so he could move in, stake out the territory, and woo her to his side. She was more than happy to take him up on the offer; Sweet Dave was not nearly as cute as Bullitt and clearly not nearly as taken with her.
They spent the rest of the season together, snuggled up in the band bus at every opportunity. I hope they're still together, somewhere down the road.