It is a lovely day in Paris, so I, like many others, decide to get in line to buy some ice cream.
But to wait in line for one scoop is ridiculous, isn’t it? Alors, two scoops? Three? No. Three is too much. Three is tacky. Let’s make it two scoops.
I think to myself, there is something round, light, childish, and tender yet almost awkward in the French word « boule.” And the warm summer wind caresses my face.
Ahead of me at the ice cream counter, I see cones, cute jars, and tiny plastic spoons of all colors. I am squinting my eyes trying to read the beautiful cursive script on the chalkboard. I am thinking about the end of the school day, when you are walking nonchalantly, when your half open bag is flapping its lips behind you and in the perfect weather, you feel free. Those early summer days when all of the sudden school finishes with ice cream. And you feel so light again.
Lemon, vanilla, cinnamon. Mmmm…
Around me, little hands part from the line, cupping with the greatest care their cones full of pink, white, and green happiness.
I confirm again with mysef, ice cream melts quickly; it would be ridiculous to walk with tree scoops. Eh oui!
After myself escaping the line, I stop and lean on a greenish board on the bridge of lovers. Boats are passing below. Tourists kiss each other and make wishes.
I close my eyes. One lick and I picture a little girl wearing a white dress. She is running up the street and gripping in her sweaty palm some coins. She repeats in her head the names of certain ice cream flavors and, yes, to not to forget « s’il vous plait » et « merci.”
This little girl is me. The memory is in the lick.
The ice cream is delicious. The memory, too.