An Ice Cream Miracle

Ahhh! It’s so friggin’ late! I might just fall asleep at the keyboard and never finish this post! Luckily, this is actually a normal time to me, since I have to wake up at 3 in the morning, every morning.

So, no biggie.

Alright, let’s get to this posting crap. Uh, okay, I know what I can talk about. Here goes.

I work in a pretty negative environment.

Let me rephrase that.

I work in a disastrously negative environment.

Yes, I sound so much more sophisticated now that I have used an adverb. Kudos to all those who spotted the improvement, and I hope all of you are proud of your being English nerds–even though, adverbs are the simple stuff.

Any who…

Construction sites are not the places most people choose to work, save for, you know, an idiot, like yours truly. They are stinky, for one, and the porta-potties are beyond disgusting–I once saw worms in someone’s–well, their…leftovers. I got the hell out of there and patted at myself for dangerous butt worms.

The workers barely communicate with each other, especially not with other crews. They just listen to their radios and chop wood and saw things and throw garbage away. Some will toss dirty glances my way, for whatever reason. I think it’s because I stink up their potties, but who can tell?

When they do talk, it’s fuck this and fuck that, and I start to wonder whether or not they know many other words than their choice term; although, hey, it’s a neat slang. I bet you could form a killer song out of all their varied combinations.

Then, there came a day, a glorious day, disregarding my being a little in the dumps. I was working in a neighborhood near a beautiful mountain range, finishing up vacuuming in a house, when I heard a cheery chime, those kind you hear at carnivals and on carousels; and so I looked out the window to see an ice cream truck slowly chugging its way up the already truck-infested street.

“Yippee!” I said. Did I really say “Yippee?” Gee, that’s kinda lame…

“Guys,” I shouted to my coworkers, “there is an ice cream truck out there! It’s so awesome! I gotta to go get some!”

Now, understand, we were working in eighty degree weather, so I had good reason to be freaking out over ice cream. It’s not often when you’re cleaning out a piss-stained toilet that you see an ice cream truck pulling up to the curb to save you from the horrible smell.

I eventually convinced my boss to let me go buy ice cream and ran out to the car to grab my wallet–but I stopped short. It turned out I was not the only customer interested in frozen happiness, as there were those grumpy forty to fifty year old construction workers waiting eagerly at the door, with dollars in hand and smiles on their sunburnt faces. The driver greeted each of them in a raspy, yet gentle, voice, and he pulled treat after treat out of his mini-fridge–waving to them as they walked back, licking ice cream and chatting to one another in engaging conversations.

I was witnessing positivity in a climate I thought entirely devoid of such a feeling. The workers were smiling at me when I ran to catch the truck before it left. These grown men stuck doing tough work and, who had, only a moment, been adrift in a funk, watched me with the eyes of children surprised at anything new or nostalgic.

Such a shift in attitude should have been impossible, but with a simple jingle and a cold cone to lick, the impossible was overridden. The mood stayed in this lull until I left the construction site. All of the workers smiling with their teeth, a jovial atmosphere unfamiliar to the location and its residents.

I bought an ice cream sandwich, but the worthwhile part was, for certain, watching the workers turn from men to children in a single minute, just because of an ice cream truck appearing at the right time.

And now I’m craving Rocky Road, so alls well that ends well, right?

Go treat yourselves, why don’t you?

Think daily,

A Southpaw

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