When I was a kid, my grandma used to take me to Rosie’s Ice Cream shop, Home of the Big Cone. The teenage server would fix me a cone so big, it would almost topple over as it passed from her hand to mine.
I‘d order a small, but it would still rise a half foot overtop the extruded grooves of the cake cone. It’s hypnotic swirl would rise in even waves, a ribbon of white alongside a ribbon of mint green, like Crest toothpaste.
It always melted as I licked it, in the rush to taste it as fast as I could. Rivulets of cold, sweet milk running down the sides of the cone, turning it soggy. It was just one of those things that I learned to enjoy quickly.
I would try to pause, somewhere mid-cone, and move the flavor around with my tongue before it went numb. But I could never slow down for long, knowing that the best part is the last bite — the cold, liquified cream filling the lattice of the cone end, insisting that you eat it in a single, blissful chomp.
I learned that it’s best to have a fistful of napkins ready, before she even hands over the cone. In the haze of sugar, under the summer sun, I’d wipe my face and my hands clean, smiling.