You can know anything. It's all there. You just have to find it.

-Neil Gaiman


Friday, July 18, 2008

My childhood summer

Remember chasing the ice cream truck?
My mom would always hem and haw, saying, "There's Popsicles in the freezer!"
"But Mom, the ice cream man!"
"I don't think I have any change."
"Where'd I put my purse?"
"Hold your horses!"
Then she would slowly dig a few quarters out of her change purse.

We'd burst from the front door like Secretariat coming out of the gate at Churchill Downs. This, I am now convinced, was the start of my training to become a 400 meter runner. We were bloodthirsty hounds tracking a moving target, with the only the fading tinkle of bells to guide us.

About a month ago I heard the familiar sound in the evening, and I was upstairs. I bolted to the window and yelled, "Ice cream man! Where is he?" Matt was a little frightened by the look in my eye. The sound was bouncing off the aluminum siding houses so that it was impossible to discern the direction. To the west, in front, to the south. He could be anywhere. I sniffed the air. Where are you, dammit, I thought.
"Do you have any change?" I asked him.
"There's ice cream in the freezer."
Suddenly I felt like I was seven years old, living on Hackberry Court, trying to explain to my mother in 30 seconds or less that I needed ice cream money RIGHT NOW! Don't make me explain myself. Gimmee the money. Gawd!
"You'll never catch him wearing those flip-flops," said Matt.
He's right about that. You need serious shoes. As a kid I ran around wearing baby-blue Etonics. Real running shoes. And I always caught the ice cream truck.

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