Ice Cream – The Awl

NoteofApproval:Ice?

Cream

“Iceburns,anditishardtothewarm-skinnedtodistinguishonesensation,fire,fromtheother,frost,”observedthewriterA。

S。

Byatt,andthisfierceironyisattheheartofaconundrumthathaspuzzledusforaslongaswehavebeeneatingicecream:Howcansomethingsocoldbesopleasing?

Let’sbeginwiththesweetness。

Oh,thesweetness:Thetouchofsugaronthetonguethatpromisesdelighttothewholebodyfromtheveryfirsttaste。

It’snoaccidentthatthesacredtextsofreligionandliteraturearefullofpaeanstohoneyandsugar;thefrequentcomparisonstobothloveandtheLordareanindicationoftheprizeweplaceonthingsthatare?

sweet。

Thenthereisthecreaminess:Thattactile,elasticmouthfeelthatcarriescomfortthrougheverydeliciousscoop。

Creamsignifiesfat,andfatisstoredinthehumanbodytobeconvertedintoenergyforfutureuse。

Energymakesus?

go!

Ofcourse,thereisalsothenostalgiafactor:Eachicecreamweeatcontainswithinitthememoryofeveryothericecreamwe’veeaten,beitonahotsummerdayatcampwhenwewerechildrenoronadark,rainynightwhenourheartachewassogreatthattheonlybalmthatcouldassuageourpainwasthepintinthefreezerthatwestoodoverthesinkandspoonedupuntilitwas?

gone。

Whatelse?

Oh,right,thecolors。

Thinkabouthowmanydifferentcolorsthereareoficecream!

Whiteforvanilla,brownforchocolate,redforstrawberry。

Green。

Purple,Iguess。

I’veseenblueforsure。

Somanydifferentcolors!

Whenyoulookatthemthemlinedupnexttoeachother,asyoudoinanicecreamshop,itislikeseeingarainbowyoucaneat。

Whowouldn’tlovetoeata?

rainbow?

Icecreamshops,right,thoseareanothergoodthingabouticecream。

Howmanyhappymomentshaveyouspentinyourlifeinanicecreamshop,anticipatingthepleasurethatisabouttooccur,revelinginthebountythatalmostspoilsyouforchoice?

Icecreamshopsareawesome。

Theyarelikebarsthatservesugarand?

fat。

Ialmostforgotthetoppings!

Youcanputfuckinganythingonicecreamanditisamazing。

WhenIwasachildthechoiceswereeitherchocolatesprinklesorrainbowsprinkles,butthesedaystheywillgrababagofwhatevercrazycraptheygotfromthesnackaisleofthegrocerystoreandmashitintotheicecreamandittasteslikeGodjizzedintoacone。

Isthereanythingelseyoucandumpabunchofshitintoandhaveitcomeoutsomehowbetterthanitwentin?

Fuck?

no!

Anddon’tgetmestartedonwhatthey’redoingwithconesnow。

Alsoboozeinice?

cream。

Tobesure,icecreamisnotallpurebliss。

Letusnotforgetthebaneoftheicecreameater’sexistence。

Ispeakofthedreaded“icecreamheadache,”thatsharpandstabbingspikethatinexorablyattacksatyourmomentofgreatestjoy。

Buteventhatisanothermiraculousexampleoficecream’spower。

Theblendingofpainandpleasureproducesasensationsohighlyrefinedthatitisbeenamusetophilosophersandsongwriterssincetimeimmemorial。

Prettyimpressive,ice?

cream!

“Theonlyemperor,”wrotethegreatWallaceStevens,“istheemperorofice-cream。

”Andhewasaninsuranceguyfulltime,notjustsomekindofartsydreamer。

IfabusinessmaninHartfordknewthaticecreamisthebestthingeverthenitisprettymuchindisputablethaticecreamisasgoodasitgets。

Icecreamisterrific。

Ihighlyrecommendit。

Photo:Shutterstock。