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Fruity Paradise after a Hot Day at the Pool

Even if my feet hurt, I'd wait in line for that delight.

By Eileen DavisPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Fruity Paradise after a Hot Day at the Pool
Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

After swimming for hours at the Blanding City Pool by the South Chapel, the coins pressed in my hand, the parking lot asphalt scorched my feet as I dashed to the yellow Sno Shack across Main Street. I waited behind a friend, my brother, my cousin, or other eager preteens, the goathead thorns digging into the heels and balls of our feet. But the pain was worth the upcoming brain freeze to counteract the dry heat.

I studied the splintery board listing the various flavors, or was it faded printed paper taped to the red counter flap door? It may have been both over the decade I lived there. My tongue usually ached for watermelon, raspberry, or cherry flavors. Other flavors like blue raspberry and tiger's blood always baffled me. I still don't know what tiger's blood is today. Occasionally, someone went for "suicide" by blending all the flavors together.

By the time my hands rested on the splintered counter, I still hesitated about choosing a flavor. After all, I was spending a hard-earned dollar/dollar-fifty on a flavor I had to commit my tastebuds to for the next half-hour. Kids jostled behind me, probably ready to swipe indecisive me to the side. Finally, I made my choice and handed over the hot quarters to the owner's daughter.

Waiting off to the side of the yellow decrepit shack, I ventured further into the dry weeds, adjusting the worn towel around my waist. The machine ground at the ice over and over until the teenage worker handed over a white foam cup filled with ice crystals and ounces of fruity flavoring. Usually, I felt a bit miffed that the juice underwhelmed the ice.

Then I sipped through the red straw-spoon until my head seized in pain. I hunched over until it subsided enough I could spoon a few ice crystals onto my tongue. If I came with a friend, we chatted for some time before I wandered home.

With chalky feet, I meandered home either in front of Mesa Pottery or behind the factory. I alternated between sucking the fake fruit flavor from the bottom and spooning the ice crystals on top. After a block or two in whatever direction home I chose, I pushed the ice down to melt into the diminishing flavored water. If I walked behind the factory, I passed by the blue bed and breakfast where bright flowers bloomed. Otherwise, I passed a field and dilapidated trailer park.

About a block from home, I slurped at the remaining colored water, my damp clumped hair blowing in my face. Soon I only had an empty foam cup. I chewed on the edges, maybe bit off a chunk or two of rubbery substance, which I spit back in the cup. When I reached the last corner, I tiptoed around red lava rocks scattered on the cement walk. My nerves remembered the prick and shock of pain shooting through my leg when I accidentally stepped on one of those demon rocks.

Once I trekked past the rocky wasteland, I collapsed the foam cup and straw only to encounter my gravelly driveway. I either tiptoed or sprinted to the side door, my feet raw from the five-block journey home. Lifting the brown garbage bin lid, I tossed in the crumpled foam, the fruity taste only a memory on my taste buds. And only the red dye remained on my tongue.

The couch and TV beckoned to me. Finally, a place to rest my weary feet.

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About the Creator

Eileen Davis

Writer. Blogger. Poet. Avid reader. Boy mom. Have bipolar 2. Experience bisexual attraction. News Junkie. Love America. Love China. English language BA from BYU. Follow me on X, Facebook, Medium, or my blog.

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