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Friday, June 21, 2013

ELS 2 -Epic Tank Girl Love

Kachunking
Ka-clacking
Sparking and flickering
The uptown subway made it's way up the tracks
Dim surroundings broken up by semi-regular streaks of tunnel lights going by
And the occasional bright clearing of a station platform

Most of which this train did not stop at

This was the Uptown Express
So named for it's rudeness in bypassing half the platforms on it's route
Paid for by the double fee it charged it's passengers
Who usually didn't even intend to ride the Express
But were simply in the right place at the right time to do so by chance

Staring out my window into the darkness
My stomach was in knots over fighting The Nun

What sort of fight would it be I wondered to myself
Though what I might do with the $1000 in prized money wasn't a source of wonderment

I knew exactly what I would do with it
And her face flickered before me
Along with the tunnel lights
In snatches and flashes
Like a slowly starting film
Quickly dissolving into a steady stream of imagery

Her face
Crowned by a thick padded leather helmet
Protruding from the lower forward hatch of her tank
As she carefully maneuvered it through an obstacle course
It's V-12 diesel engine wailing away deep inside
Smoke belching from the rear between the twin tracks

She had worn bright red lipstick that day
I had thought as a show of solidarity with their unit
It's insignia being a snarling wolf's mouth
The sharp and exaggerated teeth surrounded by blood red lips

This was painted on either side of the front of the tank
With her face sticking up in between
Snarling it's own little snarl of determination
White teeth with bright red lips

Later
As we'd made love that evening atop her tank
Parked at the back of the tank pen 
She'd confided that it was a slight to her commanding officer
Who had said to the otherwise all-male unit
"And remember ladies
We don't wear makeup to war!"

"Fuck him"
She'd purred in my ear
Her face bent down next to mine as she straddled me
"This is my best color!"

A brightly lit station platform broke my reverie
The train sliding to a stop
My window coincidentally lining up with a bench 
Upon which sat three homeless men
Who stared at me semi-toothlessly

We blinked at one another for a full minute
None of us wanting to be the first one to look away in awkwardness
Before the train started rolling again
With a squeal of brakes dragging on the wheels
The din of the moving train once again filling my ears
Tunnel interior once again the view that was offered me

Her face did not reappear this time

She was half a world away
But foremost in my thoughts every day

I looked down at my ring finger
Decorated with a plain steel band
One of two spare parts she had found in the camp workshop

This one was covered in worn and chipped red paint
Placed upon my finger by her
A promise made by both of us to each other
With one upon her finger as well
Hers painted a similarly weathered color as well
But in dark green

If I defeated The Nun
And won the prize money
I could return to her

And this time nothing would make me leave