Saturday, June 9, 2007

Ice cream truck turns left, then right

Were it not for the presence of the unwashed and the half-educated, the formless, queer and incomplete, the unreasonable and absurd, the infinite shapes of the delightful human tadpole, the horizon would not wear so wide a grin."

- Frank Moore Colby, "Imaginary Obligations"

Today is the perfect day, an 80-degree June wonder, a great afternoon to scribble out the American Dream, brittle and dry after so many years in a senseless war, who comes out to chase the ice cream man, but finds the truck turning right instead of left. It leaves this lonely writer alone to sit and sun and dream of Rocket Pops.

Here in the grass of Ella Sharp Park, the few remaining honeybees in existence buzz in vain for nourishment. Across the softball field, rocket hobbyists and radio-controlled plane operators engage in all-out war - the plane is zooming, whipping up a terrible frenzy in the tranquil bee population. If the rocket guys aren't careful, they could blow that plane out of the sky. Things might come to blows.

A whoosh, and a puff, and a trail of smoke follows the exploded rocket down to the earth. Across the street, families are putt-putting, and downtown is full of the constant roar of motorcycle men and women, leather-clad even in the heat.

I stood at the corner of Blackstone and Michigan Ave. for twenty minutes as the parade of beards and noise and chrome thundered by.

"...a local attorney drove his car across the sidewalk and over the ledge of my entranceway, where he leaned on his horn and tried to knock down the door with his bumper. A visiting poet hurled a garbage can under the wheels of a pssing bus, causing a noise like a bad accident. My upstairs neighbor said it sounded like a Volkswagen being crushed. 'It jolted me right out of bed," he said. "But when I looked out the window all I could see was the bus. I thought the car must have hit it head on and gone underneath. There was an awful dragging sound. I thought people were mashed down there in the wreckage.'"

...and so it goes in Dr. Thompson's amazingly funny "Hell's Angels," just like I'm sure it happens all over this great this exact hour...on a perfect June day.

If only we could engage in our world as often as Mr. Bush engages in the world, we might be a sunnier people.

Like the families that bring their lawn chairs and coolers and watch their daughters battle on the soccer field just across the way.

Soon the smell of cut grass will ride this cool breeze over to me, and the bi-plane circling overhead will land somewhere for lunch. If only that goddamn ice cream truck would stop this way...

...blast! He again avoids me, turning into my own damn apartment complex instead of passing by the sun-drunk field where I sit. He won't get away with this. It's times like this I wish I had a metal Frisbee that I could throw and shatter his teeth like glass.

It didn't have to be this way, Mr. Ice Cream. It would've been the easiest $1.75 you ever made in your life.

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