Driving home from a concert, William Prout worries his rock star vocalist boyfriend Alex “Tank” Sherman is about to dump him. Things haven’t been the same between them since Tank and his nu metal band went to New York City to discuss a recording contract. William doesn’t think their relationship can withstand the increased publicity Tank’s fame will attract. Already Tank is withdrawn, distracted, and won’t answer any of William’s questions.
William’s fears heighten when Tank directs him off the highway and along a series of dirt tracks. Where are they going? Will the end of their car journey also be the end of them as a couple, or has Tank worked out a way to have both a career and William?
“Good crowd tonight,” I say to a sweat-soaked Alex Sherman -- or Tank, as everyone calls him -- when he gets into the passenger seat of my Honda Civic and slams the door.
Tank begins to drum his fingertips on the dash. He huffs out a breath, eyes facing forward. This is typical Tank behavior when he’s distracted and has something on his mind but isn’t ready to share. Alas, since his and the band’s return from New York City three days ago I’ve seen a lot of distraction and distance from my lover. Something went down while they were there, but Tank hasn’t let on what. This naturally has set off my insecurities and I’ve spent the past couple days dreaming up ever more elaborate scenarios, most of which end with Tank leaving me for someone else or ...
I force my mind back to the present and tell Tank to buckle himself in.
Tank pulls the seatbelt over his wet Vikings band T-shirt that clings so invitingly to his wide, ripped chest. I turn away, not wanting to cause us to have an accident before I even get us out of the parking lot. And if the clingy T-shirt isn’t crash-causing enough, the fact he’s pulled his hair back into a pony tail so the back of his neck can dry just might be. I can already smell the muskiness that is my lover coming off him in pheromone-laced waves. It’s all I can do not to put the car back in park, leap over the console and lick every square inch of my man’s salty, fur-coated flesh.
Yes, amazingly, Alex Tank Sherman -- talented vocalist of the recently discovered nu metal band The Vikings -- is my man. I shake my head, even after three years of being a couple, I still can’t get my head around the fact Tank is mine. Unwelcome, the negative thoughts return and a voice tells me Tank might not be mine for much longer. I push them away, but know they’ll be back soon, no doubt with reinforcements.
The radio plays quietly in the background as I drive us out of town. After each concert, Tank likes to listen to something quiet and peaceful. He says it helps him chill and re-center. On stage he’s every inch the bad-ass motherfucker of alternative rock, but the real Tank, the one he only lets me see, is kind and gentle and loving and ...
Tank shifts in his seat then wipes his nose on the back of his hand.
I give him a Kleenex. He takes it, nods and blows his nose. Silence, save for the softly playing radio, continues.
“You so nailed ‘Rescue’,” I say when the silence becomes uncomfortable.
Out of the corner of my eye I see him pull the hem of his T-shirt away from his pants, no doubt to allow his stomach to dry. I’m lucky to always get a seat in the front row at each concert, so I know Tank always works his ass off to give the best performance he can for his fans. I smile because I’m the one who gets to go home with him. Or at least that’s been the case up until now.