Monday, October 7, 2013

Ice Cream Memories: A Story About Ice Cream

When I gave you The 2013 Autumn Driveabout Recap last month, I mentioned that Mrs.5000 and I had dinner at an East Coast ice cream parlor chain:
At one point, we sat at a "Friendly's" ice cream franchise and listed to a large table of young people from a nearby elite university initiate their adult social lives, using the only material they had at hand: comparing notes on how this Friendly's differed from the Friendly's back in New York, or in New Jersey, or wherever. It was adorable.
It really was cute.  When the waitress took their order, she asked one of the young freshmen if he would like a cherry.  "Why," he said -- and you could tell that he was trying on sly but debonair -- "I'd love a cherry."  A few seconds went by while everyone tried to figure out how they were supposed to respond to this audacity.  The other boys chuckled nervously.  One, admiringly, said "Heh, Brad."

But enough about them.

There was a big bulletin board in back of the place where people were invited to "Share Your Ice Cream Memories -- write a story or memory about ice cream &/or eating at Friendly's."  Since I didn't have any memories of eating at Friendly's -- this was my first time in such a place -- I wrote a story.

I better type it out, since I don't have the most legible of writing, and in so doing I'll probably second-draft it a bit.  But here's my ice cream story:

OH!  By the way, sensitive souls might find it disgusting.


I ate ice cream at Friendly's the day my wife left me.  It was pistachio.  I picked up some chocolate for her, too, because chocolate was her favorite.  She loved chocolate, and I loved her, and I wanted to make her happy.  But then at home, on the kitchen table, there was a note.  It was the usual note, I guess.  "I am leaving.  I am taking the children.  I'm sorry, but I can't live like this anymore."

The thing about a note like that is that you can't respond to it, can't even make comment on it.  There is no one there to hear your cry of protest -- not the writer of the note, no sympathetic friend, no chorus out of a Greek play, nor even, or so it seems, any forgiving or accusing God. So, saying 

nothing, because there was no one to say it to, I walked across the kitchen to the sink.  I gulped in two great lungfuls of air, looked at my reflection in the kitchen window, and then vomited up my entire stomach full of Friendly's ice cream, pale green against the bright white porcelin.

Later, though, after I'd calmed down a little, I ate the chocolate pint I had brought home.  Chocolate isn't my favorite, but it was still pretty good.


Elizabeth said...

I am SURE that this will be carefully curated into their online storybook.

Michael5000 said...

Actually, Mrs. discouraged me from even submitting it at the restaurant.

mrs.5000 said...

Um, let's say it seemed unlikely to sell a lot of ice cream.