Ice Cream / by Rebecca Tillett


There was something about the way he grazed my arm and looked at me as if it was the very first time. It wasn't. I love the feeling of mutual gratitude for the discovery of something so rare, so beautifully elusive. Isn't it incredible how desperately you might have needed something without realizing it? How gracefully and completely a hole can be occupied and sealed and grant you a satisfaction you didn't quite realize you'd needed so terribly until satisfaction overwhelmed you? It's like tasting ice cream for the first time, the texture, the sweetness, the way the flavor devours you right where you stand leaving you to wonder how you'd ever felt like an intact human being before tasting it. You probably don't remember tasting ice cream for the first time. You were too young. You were too spoiled with experience but you're far from providential if you never know what it is to lack, to be without; if you can't recall your world without ice cream.

"Your body is touching mine. I never would have believed it possible a year ago. I love you."

Life is funny and strange and I've decided I am an authentic part of her plot. I'd always felt like a reader to the story of a life. The transition to participant is a little startling.

But... Careful not to allow happiness consume so much of you that you've forgotten the sound of sadness. Vulnerability. Being careful is only an excuse for armor. Remembering sadness is only a defense against imminent pain. Vulnerability and I have never been friends. Vulnerability and I have always warred against my better judgment. My head rules over my heart more often than my heart should allow. My heart takes much too long to heal. Hurt is prolonged and indefinite. Vulnerability equates to hurt and hurt is the memory of ice cream but the unduly possibility you'll ever taste it again.

I don’t want people to matter to me too much. Sometimes it hurts too much to think about them. Ones you love who don’t love you, ones who hate you, ones who you think about but never get to be with. I like people but when I get too close, it fucks me up.
— Henry Rollins

I have fashioned an existence too similar to that of my mother's. The only path to happiness is through pain. Forgoing one is forgoing the other. Say this every day like a mantra your very life depends upon.