I am high up on the twelfth floor, banging out these pages at a laborious pace that is killing me slowly on the inside, down in there where it counts the most. And yet for some reason all I can hear, from the street twelve floors below, is the ice-cream truck. It’s blaring its song, the same song it’s always blared, for as long as I can remember. I’m sure you know the tune.
The song spins on repeat, echoing through the streets, carried up here by the wind.
At first, it’s nice. At first my mouth waters for chocolate goodness, cool to the tongue and jimmies on top (are sprinkles always called jimmies, or is that just me?, and why jimmies? why not frankies or louies or agathas?). Then I lose the taste. The song is still going. Those kids down on the street below have obviously not yet had their fill of ice cream. And until they’ve had enough the song will keep going.
Well, all I can do is ignore it. So I keep pounding away. Fact is, I am on page 34 out of 80 and I am never going to finish this on time and I am feeling very fatalistic and depressed and I could go for an ice-cream cone right about now.
But really I am just trying to concentrate here. Page 34. Go.
But the song.
It’s still playing.
How is it possible that the ice-cream truck is still sitting down there, spinning its song? It must have set up shop. Maybe the truck blew a tire. Maybe the ice-cream man is giving away ice cream for free, throwing cones to people crossing the street, and I am missing out by sitting up here, stonily trying to block out his song.
The song is annoying on repeat. It screeches through my ears. It sounds like it’s playing from a warped record. I think a person could go mad from hearing the endless loop of the ice-cream song. I think a person could tear her eyes out over the ice-cream song. Could scream out the window: Go away, Ice-Cream Man! I am only on page thirty-four! Have a heart! I am trying to write here.
Fact is, I need three more weeks to finish this manuscript, at least.
Either that or a barrel of ice cream with jimmies on top. Lots of them.