Diane Mayr and Amy Souza

Diane Mayr
I’m Not Due Yet


We Go Out for Ice Cream on a Warm Night
By Amy Souza

Inspiration piece

There’s mostly summer people, a few townies. It’s the second most popular spot. I watch a high-strung woman chase her toddler around the parking lot, telling him no no no. He falls on the gravel; she yells at her husband. The older daughter wants to show the crybaby something, but the high-strung mother says, “He’s sad right now, Emma. He doesn’t want to look.” Mother anxiety fills the air, hovers above the field where groups sit watching sheep graze. The sun is ready to set, and I can hardly eat my ice cream for the tension. When the high-strungs finally drive away, the rest of us release our breath. People start to talk again. On the bench closest to the sheep sits a twenty-something couple who must still be dating because they laugh and listen the way the rest of us do not. His cell phone rings, disrupting the night. He answers, says, “Hi, Mom.” Tells her he’s eating ice cream with sheep and they declared it “not baaahhhd.” His girlfriend giggles. I eat in quiet. D eats in quiet.

“I feel doomed,” I’d told him on the drive here.

“Everyone is eventually,” he said.

The sun falls behind the trees, night inevitable.

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