AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 4/19/2004 10:52:00 PM ----- BODY:

Not Angry Anymore

night falls like people into love we generate our own light to compensate for the lack of light from above every time we fight a cold wind blows our way but we learn like the trees how to bend how to sway and say i, i think i understand what all this fighting is for and i just want you to understand that i'm not angry anymore no, i'm not angry anymore--Ani (again)
You have to love these meaninglessly beautiful moments: "Ooh," my dad says, rubbing his chin with his palm. "Do I want a frappe or a freeze?" "Couldn't tell ya." "Hmmm." More chin rubbing. "Oooh, hot fudge sundae, though. That could be good." He stands back on his heels, tapping his pinky fingernail against his right eyetooth. "Could be good." His Detroit Tigers T-shirt is filthy. Some teenyboppers are kind of, well, looking at his day-glo orange shorts. I don't know when the moratorium on being seen in public with my dad ran out, but I'm pretty glad it did. What used to mortify me now just makes me laugh. "Hmm..." he's studying the chalked lists of flavors next to the serving windows like there'll be a test later. "I dunno." Something else I've realized about my dad: he's can be a little, little kid sometimes. He looks at a couple turning away from the window ahead of us. "What's she got?" He cranes his neck. This is the kind of thing that used to drive me crazy. I thought my dad looked like a creep, talking loudly in observation of a total stranger. Now I just think it's cute. "Hmm. Strawberry. I dunno." We're creeping ever closer to the window. Dad's already had me fan out in a strategic offensive to capture the shortest line. Now that we're standing at the ready position, just someone's change and napkins ahead of us from having to make a decision so the milk-splattered high school track stars behind the windows can haul scoops of strawberry or cookie dough or mocha out of the refrigerated cases with their heavy metal tops and pack them into sugar cones. Just another minute or so from frantically catching drips while standing in the parking lot away from any vulnerable car upholstery, a matter of moments from getting back in the car once drippage is under control, another twenty minutes, maximum, before this father-daughter moment is over and we go back to the daily grind. As hurried as he was to find the shortest line, Dad's hanging back now. It's not like he actually wanted to get to the window quickest--it's more like he just wanted to be right about which was the shortest line. Which, eerily enough, is something I totally understand. "Hmm. You know. That first ice's a tough decision. It really sets the tone, y'know?" I raise my eyebrows. " 'Sets the tone'?" "Could go with watermelon sherbet, too..." Suddenly it hits him. "I know," he tells me, wide eyed. "Mocha. That's it. Gagh! Why didn't I think of that? Of course! Mocha!" And, whatever the implications for the rest of the ice cream season, that's just what he orders.