I’ve been dreaming about the tank museum in Danville, VA. My family refuses to go with me to the tank museum. But soon, when my family goes to the tank museum, I will see big boy guns and shoot’em up guns. And blow’em up guns and galleries of blood. I want to spend the day reading names of the dead. I want to learn how to kill better. I want to buy a t-shirt tie dyed in commie blood. I want a necklace made of skull fragments. I want to kill someone who doesn’t look like me at the tank museum. I want to hold bright plastic replicas of death machines. I want to kick my dog in the name of my country. I want tremors and a headwound. I want night terrors. I want trauma so there’s something to fight. I want a piece of my brain missing. I want a certificate saying I’m good. I want to be an angelic hero. I want my name on a plaque at the tank museum. I want my blown apart face on the wall. I want to feel military fabric against my skin. I want to be sorry for everything I’ve ever done. I want therapy that doesn’t work. I want five bucks an hour cleaning the VFW behind the tank museum. I want a problem with a solution. I want to lose all my leg hair. I want a story I never tell. I want to grow big and fat. I want a shoot’em up gun of my own. I want to take control. I want to see my kids again. I want to crochet a hammock for the VFW behind the tank museum. I want to be tired of the tank museum. I wish the tank museum had weekend workshops. I wish the tank museum was open on Sundays. I wish my church made me feel like the tank museum. I wish the tank museum was my father. I wish the tank museum could give me two kids and a wife. I wish the tank museum could give me honor of any kind. I want to donate my blood to the tank museum. I want to find a new identity at the tank museum. I want the tank museum to be more than the tank museum. I want the tank museum to make me the kind of person who loves the tank museum. I want to be the kind of person who loves the tank museum at the tank museum. I want to look into another human’s eyes and know what it means to say tank museum. I want to wake up in the morning with a purpose as certain as the tank museum. I want to be a tank at the tank museum with nowhere else to go, at the end of my run, rusting in the gravel backyard of the tank museum. I want to be anything as much as the tank museum tank museums. I want to be the GPS’ final destination that brings joy through the exactness of my title. I want to be a room of promises and the people fulfilled by them. I want to be so certainly certain in my thingness I no longer am an individual entity. At the tank museum there is only tanks and air, which is the absence of tanks, and nontanks enjoying the tanks. When we finally go to the tank museum, I’ll get a hat that says Tank Museum and when I wear it, I’ll think about the tank museum. There is a song playing on the radio in the other room. It reminds me of a time when I loved that song and all I wanted was to know more songs like it. I woke up early just to listen to that song. Back then anything could happen.
Graham Irvin is from North Carolina. He has other writing at The Nervous Breakdown, Maudlin House, Back Patio Press, and Expat Lit. His twitter is @grahamjirvin.