The Ice Cream Wars
The jingle starts it every day. Mrs.
Smith by the door, dollar in her hand. She is hungry with ice cream love. The
ice cream always looks back at her. Not like her husband. None of her dresses
fit anymore. That’s okay. Ice cream love is a much better fit.
Smith does look at her. He watches her from the couch. Watches his widening
wife, her chest heaving with desire. He knows she loves the ice cream man. That
the ice cream is just an excuse. That the ice cream man is younger and tanner,
but that’s okay. Frankly, the ice cream man is a much better fit.
The ice cream man is jingling, all
right. He is waiting for next door Laura to emerge her pretty self, same as she
does every day at this hour. She is a flower who comes out to water the other
flowers and never even looks his way. Of course, he thinks, his ice cream would
only plump her in the middle, lopside her perfect stem. He thinks of his wife,
home and garbled from ice cream bloat. Very much like the woman who lives in
the house next to Laura, who runs out to his truck, sweaty dollar in her fist.
He hopes one day pretty Laura will look his way. That she will hear his jingle.
He thinks again of his wife. And how pretty Laura is a much better fit.
Next door Laura hates the daily
jingle. Upsets the roses, she thinks. Their delicate systems. She thinks about
all of that goo and ice cream fat which are of no use to flowers. She has spent
her life watching as people-love bloomed and wilted and crumbled to dust. Seen
the looks of lust from the ice cream man who should have been looking at his
wife, from Mr. Smith who should have been looking at his wife instead of
pretty, next door Laura, and frankly, at this point, her darling flowers,
rooted and still, are really a much better fit.