I was riding shotgun in the Acura on a peculiar blue day at the beginning of the Christmas holiday. My partner needed to get gas at Freddys since gas was freshly under 4 dollars - everyone else in Clackamas must have had the same thought because the pumps were thronged with cars all huffing and puffing cold exhaust in the mid-day sun. We were behind a dirty CRV with vulva bumper stickers and two greasy lesbians at the wheel. Behind us was a shitty red pickup holding the object of my affection, disheveled Tank soon to become a folk hero of my mind. He was lighting up a bowl in the cab of his truck, through the rearview window behind his head waved large grasses and ferns in dirt buckets, the fronds so tall they surrounded his cab in his own personal ecosystem. Tank was slow, languid, lovely. I thought about him leaving his landscaping job to wait for gas in the Fred Meyers parking lot, how he made out quiet so none of his favorite co-workers would ask to come, then let time come to a stop as he inhaled and exhaled the weed he grabbed from his center console. When it was Tank's turn at the gas pump he got out and tried to help the attendant, walking circles around the truck and revealing to me, his guardian angel, his god, his shiny belt buckle. Tank gave the attendant a dopey smile and watched the pump, eyes never meeting mine. When Tank drove off into the neighboring Taco Bell drive-thru I felt grief, that I would never know him. Moreso, that I would never be him. That I was fated to anxiously weave the memories of passing ants like him into my daily life while he waited calmly at the pump, looking bashfully at the cracked concrete. Call me, Tank.

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