at a local Dairy Queen:

  1. an 8 or 9 year old girl lights up at the sight of her school librarian–a wondrous meeting out of context. summer vacation and an ice cream shop. she wants to know about how the library is. she wants to know if the books are ready. the librarian bids her farewell with “enjoy the last week of summer!”
  2. an old woman, 65 perhaps, approaches the counter to retrieve her order (hot dog and a small banana split), then slowly makes her way out of the shop. some patience or quietness in her movements says this is a sort of ritual. i wonder how long she has been coming here for hot dogs and ice cream.
  3. a 5-year-old nursing a sundae examines her own lap. “my dress is stained!” she announces to her father, her sister, the entire patio.