Someone put the tank upside down. The tank was put in the town’s square to commemorate veterans of the first war, or perhaps it was the second. There was a plaque that went up on a wall next to the tank which listed which war the tank was to be a commemoration of, but a long time ago someone stole the plaque. It’s hanging on someone’s living room wall now, as we speak, or maybe someone’s using it as a platter to serve food upon. In other words, someone out there, the thief of the plaque, is using the plaque in a way not respectful. And now the tank has been turned upside down. Perhaps it is the same person, although that seems unlikely. No one can remember which war the tank is supposed to commemorate and neither can anyone rememberhow long ago the plaque was stolen. The color of the plaque is also long forgotten. The tank is tan and it is upside down, laid on its long unused turret. The tank, upside down, loses all of its power, both real and commemorative. The tank, upside down, elicits only pathos. But who among the people in the town might have turned the tank over? No one in this town owns the kind of machine, we’re talking about a crane here, more or less, that might be able to turn the tank back to its proper side. Cranes are mostly long gone too. It has been a long time since anything was built. And it’s unlikely that some piece of strong wind was responsible for turning the tank over onto its long unused turret, and it is unlikely that a giant did it as well. It is equally if not more unlikely that a rival tank flipped the tank onto its back. Every time I walk by the tank I want to reach out and turn it back over, but I don’t have the strength. I have so little strength that barely past the tank I have to collapse onto the ground and fall asleep. Now we fight wars with unmanned vehicles. Someone in a desert far away from where the bombs are dropped directs the plane from his or her console. This is the kind of time we are in. How will we ever commemorate such activities? The soldiers won’t be soldiers anymore and they won’t come from any place in particular. We’ll hold silent parades during which down our Main Street will float these menacing, unmanned craft, menacing due to the lack of people driving it. But of more concern to me should be this tank which has been flung over. It seems only a redeeming sort of storm might fix what’s gone wrong here.
Beau Golwitzer recommends the rants of Eddie Pepitone, to be found at eddiepepitone.com.
(For December at Everyday Genius, contributors were asked to recommend something elsewhere on the Internet.)