Monday, May 7, 2007

Ice cream

In the summer of 1990, Mrs. P and I had just graduated from college, she and Mr. P were newly married, and Shobi-wan and I were shacked up in the top half of a yellow house about half a mile from the Ps. In those days there weren't a lot of places to go "out" in Tacoma, or at least in the half of town we knew. There was almost nowhere to go, other than the Denny's on Pearl or the Dunkin' Donuts on 6th (which has apparently since closed), or the E-9 brewpub. A group of us went to the Java Jive a couple times, but it was a dive in those days and wasn't a place for two young women to hang out in. This was in the time before the Northwest coffee culture took hold, and most coffee not found in a home kitchen was in Seven-Eleven stores.

Shobi-wan worked Security for the university and worked the typical summer shift of four noon-to-midnight shifts followed by four midnight-to-noon shifts, with a couple days between. Our apartment was not air conditioned and nights when Shobi-wan was working I was often hanging out with Mrs. P and sometimes Mr. P.

Sometimes I would call Mrs. P and suggest we go out for ice cream. In fact I don't know how many times we did it, but in my memory it was often. We went to a family ice cream parlor, a place like Fentons or the Ice Creamery. We sat on curlicue metal-backed chairs, ate ice cream, and talked under the cooled air blowing from the ceiling vents. I remember feeling like it seemed so old-fashioned to go out for ice cream rather than a drink. Ice cream's not much of a vice when you're newly 21.

I don't remember what we talked about, probably love. Now when an evening feels summery, like today's did, I want to call Mrs. P and ask her if she's interested in joining me for some ice cream.

Mrs. P, August 2004

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