First Ice Cream Cone

A memoir by Lorna Scott Porter

Arkansas. Hot summer. Light cotton dresses. Mother had us sit at the counter, saying it was unladylike to walk down the street eating food. I held a dark little wood-colored cone, top-heavy with a cold, solid sphere that overspread its perch like a fat hen with its ruffles flopping over the edge of its nest. I was to eat it without a spoon!

I gazed at it. I licked the ruffles. As small drips appeared, I licked around the seam between the ice cream and the cone. I held the meltings in my mouth before swallowing. Soon the drips became rivulets. I licked them back up the cone and shaped the ice cream with my tongue. My tongue scraped the surface, making infinitesimal ridges that dissolved before my eyes.

I breathed the chocolate aroma. I stopped to admire my sculpture. It drooled onto my thumb. I kept licking, intent on keeping the original form. As the ice cream grew softer, the sweetness grew stronger. The globs in my mouth were richer, creamier. I held them a long time before letting them escape “down the hatch’.

Too soon, the ice cream sat concave in the cone. I reached down into the creamy basin with my tongue, pushing drips out hole at the bottom. I licked this, too.

Mother had watched all this tongue activity patiently. Finally she handed me a napkin. “You have to eat it now,” she said.

Lorna Scott Porter writes semi-biographical fiction and thanks IRP writing classes for all the help she has had.