Ice Cream Truck

By
The Ford F-150 was like a giant black bubble. It smelled of earth and dirty dogs. When my family and I lived in North Carolina, it was our ice cream truck; with the closest ice cream shop thirty minutes away. Thirty North Carolina minutes are far different from thirty Florida minutes. The windy mountain roads sure make places seem further away.

One summery North Carolina Sunday in 2005, my family and I climbed in our black bubble of a truck and set off on an ice cream trip. The windows were rolled down right away, and the AC was turned off. I have a fairly “green” family, and whenever we could avoid using the AC, we did.

Once we descended out driveway, we started navigating through the serpent-like roads. We slithered past fields and fields of sweet-smelling grass and corn so golden, it could have been Kind Midas’ own. The air was never humid in the mountain region, and that day we went to get ice cream, it felt especially clean. Mom’s laundry didn’t even smell as clean as that fresh summer air.

All was well on our journey until we serpentined past the first of several cow pastures. Warm dirt surrounded the steamy black cows, filling the truck with its slight stench. And how could one forget the abundant kudzu? The green, leafy, over populous vine grows over everything in its path. It terrorizes the countryside, and, quite frankly, I think it’s ugly. I had an epiphany once that if we ever need a fuel alternative, we should seek the kudzu.

By then, we were half way to Jack Frost’s Dairy Bar in Marion. I kept my focus on the landscape out my window. My nose sought out the freshly cut hay before my eyes did. Rolled into perfect cylinders, the sun-tanned hay tickled my nostrils, causing me to sneeze. I stared at the perfect hay in the picturesque fields that seemed to have jumped from a painting until my sight was diverted to a forest.

I loved passing the peaceful forest on the way to get ice cream. It enveloped the dark truck into more cool darkness, sealing it with surreal stick trees zooming past as we drove on. It did appear that the trees were moving, not the truck. My eyes hurt from darting back and forth so fast between them.

As if my eyes didn’t hurt enough already, the sun popped out from behind the twig like trees, as Jack pops out of his Box, and blinded me. I knew we were close to our destination, now that we were out of the forest. I floated back down to earth after day dreaming all the way to Marion, and realized we were about to pull into Jack Frost’s parking lot. That familiar jolt of excitement erupted inside me as we parked our bubble.

Though timeless beauty marks small rural towns such as Marion, North Carolina, so does a cloud of depression and deprivation. Such towns are often separated from the rest of the modern nation by their lack of economic success. Jack Frost’s Dairy Bar was my family’s “happy place” in that tiny town. I walked up to the ordering window and declared my appetite for a banana milkshake. Never before have I tasted such a rich banana milkshake from another ice cream shop.

After we’d had our fill, my family and I got back into our bubble and buckled up. AC: off. Windows: down. Stomachs: full. Our bubble was full of glee from our ice cream trip, though I couldn’t wait to gaze out my window into the countryside once again on our trip home.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

bruhbruhbruh1234 said...
Jan. 7, 2015 at 1:26 pm
a masterpiece jilian, a masterpiece!
 
Edison99 said...
Apr. 11, 2013 at 11:38 pm
love the figurative language and metaphors!
 
Jewcurls said...
Dec. 22, 2008 at 2:42 am
Being a North Carolinian myself, i find the description of the winding roads and kudzu to be frighteningly accurate. Kudos, Jilly. ;)
 
SuzzyLemons said...
Dec. 22, 2008 at 1:50 am
Jillian, this is amazing.
 
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