Ice Cream; Zen Story Number One
"Is Daddy dead?"
"Thomas, no! Of course not. You're father has simply gone out for ice cream."
Thomas blasted the invading alien hordes hitting the single red button repeatedly. The Atari video game console had been a present for his tenth birthday. His mother sat nearby, reading the latest edition of "Ms" Magazine.
"Has dad left us?"
"Tommy! Why must you say such things? Your father has simply gone out for ice cream."
Thomas stood, looking over his mother's shoulder as she read what he considered to be a perfectly idiotic mystery novel. He was sullen and angry at the world, as teenagers often are.
"So Mother, you think dad's started a new family."
"Now Tom, I don't want to hear any more of this. I've told you, You're father has simply..."
And he said the old refrain with her, "Gone out for Ice Cream."
"Yes, that's right."
Thomas had finally had it. He couldn't take it any more. "Mom, Wake up! Dad is GONE. He's left us. It doesn't take ten freaking years to get ice cream now does it? You sit there with that vacant expression on your face, living in your little dream world. Well it's time to wake up. You can't go on like this. Face fact and accept it; Dad is gone and he's not coming back." Thomas saw his mother smiling at something over his shoulder and it only served to upset him more. "Ice cream! Really!"
She continued smiling and finally Thomas turned to see what she was staring at, figuring it was nothing and that his forcing her eyes open had perhaps been too much for her. As he turned his head, much to his amazement a bearded man in a long out of fashion coat and hat stood with his arms full of grocery bags. It took Thomas a moment to realize that he recognized this man from photos and even a few hazy memories.
"Hey, who wants some ice cream? I got a spumoni, I got a rocky road. Here's some vanilla, some French vanilla and vanilla swirl; chocolate chip, chocolate mint chip, chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate mocha fudge swirl with the marshmallows. You like tin roof? I got tin roof. I got Neapolitan. Here's some strawberry, raspberry, black cherry and boysenberry. How about whipped cream. Who needs whipped cream? We got whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, crushed Oreos, we even got those little silver things; you know those little silver things, they look like you can't eat 'em, but guess what, you can! Here ya go."
The list continued as Thomas' still smiling mother began happily stirring her plain vanilla in a bowl. She didn't like to eat it until it had softened a bit.
"I got ice cream sandwiches, Popsicles, push ups, and fifty fifty bars. Here's a frozen banana, it's not quite ice cream, but its a yummy frozen treat."
"We got marshmallow swirl, strawberry cheesecake vanilla, white Russian and chunky monkey. Yes sir. We got it all..."