IT wasn’t until i held it in my hand, by the tail of its cylindrical cone, which thank god succeeded the old-fashioned sugar cone, for the generous ledge guarding my grip bought me almost time to escape the dripping cascade of frozen cream, desublimated against the early autumn air…
IT wasn’t until then that i realized i required an instruction manual on ice cream cones.
OF course, wanting one left me hanging. So i desperately shot up out of my car, and out into the safety of the parking lot, where i shielded my activities from my friend…
THOUGH i use the term irresponsibly, to discuss someone who hands off such an imminent disaster as this to me, with a solitary small napkin, and says have at it, expecting some ‘thanks’ in return…
BY my body, between us, for no greater pleasure ought they assuredly be denied than to watch me pitch and moan as the clock ticked out each precious second, in battle with the sugary former globe they so selflessly gave away moments earlier.
AFTER searching the sky for shelter in vain, i went about my coarse and shocking affair of problem-solving, pragmatic at best, American to the teeth.
WHICH were most helpful to me in taking out the better portion of the wilting cream head in one unhinged jaw sorta predatory swoop from above.
WHY this appealed to me for a solution, i cannot say. Under pressure, my mind likes to fold, leaving my body to grope around, prehistorically.
MY friend was bending his neck out the car window under guise of offering help, as he tried to see around my back, feeling deservedly patriarch to the comedy he had set in motion.
MY mouth turned ice cold as the slush rush moved unsettling fast toward the pain center of my brain. My eyes watched helplessly as the thawing mass above my hand crept over the new cone barricade.
I began to lick furiously from below the lip, up, turning the cone as i went. But the pressure of my tongue dislodged the whole blob, which started leaning precariously to one side, and almost fell its death on my boots.
I pulled back on the tongue, and forward sculpted with the tip. Funny faces were appearing at the windows of the ice cream shoppe before me. I could not seem to work the precarious balance of judicious touch and quick rotation.
ICE cream rivulets formed and slid happily down my wrists and up into my shirtsleeves. I was too preoccupied with my frozen head ache to notice.
MY fingers had tightened their grip, under duress, and broke through the shell of the new cone, so now i was watering the parking lot with liquid sugar. The kids had half their faced imprinted on the glass, and a few had run outside to stare and laugh.
My inhibitions all left me, finally, followed the ice cream’s way out. The spell was broken! I put a mean deliverance on my face, and tossed the useless watery shell casings to the oily lot of them.
Nobody moved. Not even the second hand of the clock. I held myself high and walked into the old ice cream shoppe of new cone and horror, and found my way to the wash room, gracefully.
In the looking glass, staring back at me, a hideous and wonderful thought!
Returning to the car, i stopped first at the passenger side window, and smiled kindly so as to get a roll down.
Then, out from behind my perspirated back, came a triple scoop of Rocky Road on an old cone (the unforgiving kind), for my dear friend. I handed it to him…
with one, single, solitary napkin.