by Stacie Eirich
ice cream soda
The summer I turned sixteen was the summer I got my first job, scooping ice cream on the corner of Broadway & 59th in the center of the city. The roads and the noisy bustle stretched for miles, the constant stream of people and taxis, bikers and buses outside the shop windows rushing like the balmy breeze.
Inside the cool of the shop, I watched them as I worked, writing character descriptions and recording short poems in my mind as I wiped drips from tables, restocked spoons and napkins. Refilled tubs of Cookie Monster, Creamy Dream-sickle and Choco-Cherry Cheesecake.
It was one of my favorite pastimes, to imagine the stories that belonged to the people of New York City. To create captions along with brief pictures in my mind of them when they walked through the shop doors. There were people of all ages, identities and sizes, their languages and expressions diverse as the colors in the rainbow. Some came in alone, but most entered with friends or family, their conversations bright and musical.
Scoops Ice Cream was a place where people came to celebrate together, to indulge together, to be happy together. I considered myself lucky to have landed my first job there, at my Dad's favorite ice cream shop, the only one in New York City he would spend his pocket change at for a scoop.
His order was always the same: a double scoop of Mint-Chocolate Chunk.
That summer, I smiled every time I scooped it, thinking of how he would savor every spoonful, but always save the last one for me. I don't think the customers noticed — at least, not until a rainy day in July — a day that turned my summer from a lovely, homespun Vanilla Bean to a decadent, sparkling Strawberry Delight.
"I'd like a double scoop of Mint-Chocolate Chunk, please." The eyes that looked back at me from the other side of the counter were blue and clear as a country sky, and his smile could've melted all the ice cream in the shop.
I grinned and blushed as I scooped, my heart pinging loudly against my chest.
His order was as perfect as his smile, and I knew without a doubt that that my summer at Scoops would be as sweet as my Dad's favorite ice cream.
About the author
Stacie Eirich is a writer, singer & library associate. Her poems and
stories have appeared in Auroras & Blossoms Anthologies, Scarlet
Leaf Review, MUSED Literary Review, Wee Tales & Ruby Magazine. She
lives near New Orleans, La with three cats, two kids and one fish.