drifting south
December 27, 2001 03:36 PM

I thought I saw the same ice cream parlor I knew from the beach. The one that makes its own waffle cones (which I don't even like, but still) and where we would go as the first stop of those long summer nights.

I thought I saw it but it turns out I had the name garbled in my head as we walked into the movie theater. Or the sign changed in some dimension-shifting way, though the probability of the former is much greater. I had the name mixed with the name of the ice cream shop down near my apartment, which is good but not even as good as Ben & Jerry.

So I imagined all these new possibilities. Even if it meant driving out of the way, I could have ice cream that was memories. I could even have ice cream and smoke a cigarette with the heat turned way up in the car in January. But I can't. Well, I could, but there is a gap between driving out of the way and driving for hours.

Uncle Harry is still in his same spot. Hidden pearl-like in the nondescript strip mall (though strip mall isn't quite the right word for suburban centers containing furriers and the like). And I'm still in my spot; not the same spot and I hope not for long.

This Christmas in the house that isn't big on Christ everything was the last time. The last time we drove down on the pier to pick our favorite lit-up ships. The last slow-moving trip around the lights by the highway, where my mother remembered we thought about buying a house and we all said thank god for not living there and the vast annoyance that would have been December if we did. As impatient as we are. The last Christmas in the house. Because they're moving. And anyway, I moved a long time ago. Am moving still. Whatever home might have been, it will be somewhere new for them and. I won't have ever lived there.

And then it occurred to me. That I won't have a reason to drive past Uncle Harry's, or down Shore Drive at four in the morning. I won't go past my old schools or see the water in the same way. And the strip won't be a place to casually play a round of late-night miniature golf because, hell, you're there anyway. Sure, the coffeehouse is a paint store. Not even an exciting paint store. But even the paint store is a monument that elicits a little sentimentality. It was a place.

I may never visit the Chrysler Museum or see that mustard painting again.

But I lingered in all those places long enough. I know the shapes of them.

And besides, Uncle Harry sells his cakes in my grocery store freezer.

« thing is, i don't like surprises | Main | a garble of mixed thoughts; it's been too long »
in this section
back to archives
October 2004
August 2004
June 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
June 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
August 1996
August 1995
July 1993
April 1993
August 1992
May 1992
October 1989
July 1987
January 1987
September 1984
July 1982
more info
email me
design by seven ten
about the site wicked thoughts edge of the season arts links we have brains