Ice Cream and Loving Kindness

When I got back from church, famished, my brother handed me something.  He had bought me an It's It!  A San Francisco tradition and my favorite ice cream sandwich in the world.  I scarfed it down, savoring the cinnamony cookie goodness.  We then went to lunch.  (Yes, I had desert first.)

After lunch, we went to the Richmond district apartment building that my parents own.  Something was wrong with the clothes washer and my dad wanted to see if he could fix it.  While he fiddled with machinery, there was nothing for my brother and I to do, so we went over to look at the Golden Gate Bridge.  There's a beautiful view of it not far from the building.  The sky was blue.  The trees a dark green.  The bridge was red.  The wave caps below were white.  Picture perfect.

Came back to find Dad still fiddling.  As I sat in the afternoon warmth, drowsy, I listened to a pigeon coo.  And then, from a nearby building, a woman's voice sang Amazing Grace in a language that I did not recognize.

My dad finally gave up and we called the repairman.  Coming back from the outer Richmond towards home, still in the bright, warm sunshine, I was struck with a winsome desire.  I asked D to stop by PollyAnna's Ice Cream Parlor.  PollyAnna's specializes in Asian and other unusual flavors. Got green tea ice cream for both Mom and Dad, Kaluha for D, and for myself.... licorice.  It came in a dark purpley-grey color.  D remarked it's the kind of color that parents usually discourage their kids from eating.  It was delicious.  (Yes, I had ice cream twice today.)

When I was growing up, Mr. Wally used to keep his ice cream shop open on Halloween night, where he handed out free scoops of either licorice or pumpkin ice cream.  To this day, I associate both flavors with Wally and with loving kindness.  I ate the dark purpley-grey licorice ice cream and thought of Wally.  And afterwards, my mouth was ringed in black so that I looked like the Joker.

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Acknowledgments is made possible in part by generous support from the Fahs Collaborative