Last night I found myself at Spill the Beans. Spill the Beans is a coffee shop/ice cream parlor in downtown Greenville. I’ve noticed that now a days it’s not enough for a place to simply sell ice cream, you’ve got to molest it in someway as well. Marble Slab puts the ice cream on a slab of marble and then beats the shit out of it. Creme Shack lays the ice cream out like deck of cards, throws a bunch of toppings inside, and then rolls it up like a joint. So clearly if you are going to enter into the ice cream fray of downtown Greenville you need to bring you “A game." And by “A” I mean an arsenal.
Spill the Beans was more than up to the challenge. It said, "We’ll see your marble slab and raise you a drill. That’s right- a drill. See you in hell suckers!!”
This isn’t some small drill, either. The thing looks like it was meant for finding oil. Like its ancestral home is the plains of Texas. When you tell them what ice cream flavor you want, and the toppings you want blasted in there, they put it all into a container and they drill down like they’re fracking the South Dakota Bad Lands. They must be on to something because what comes out of this leftover from the movie Saw is a delicious ice cream treat that keeps the line out the door on the weekends. At least that’s what I assume, because of the c word I can’t eat that processed sugar.
My friend Lauren is in town teaching Stages and after showing off downtown Greenville we popped into Spill the Beans for a coffee. On the way out I held the door for this guy holding a baby, and four kids ran into the store. He quickly ran after them to minimize their destruction. The looks on the faces of these children can only be described as pure joy. Here I was a cynical 40 year old rolling my eyes at the drilling of ice cream, but to a seven year old this had to be an invention on par with the discovery of the internet.
His friend was a few steps behind. As I was leaving I said, “Those are some happy kids I just saw.”
“Are you kidding me,” he replied, “they’re in heaven.”
A truer statement has never been uttered. A summer night. Up past their bedtimes. Along side their cousins or friends. The smell of the home made waffle cones. The city lights. The anticipation of the drilled ice cream. This was a night they would never forget.
I took a sip of my Lime Flavored Italian Soda. At 40, it takes more to etch nights into our brains. A sameness starts to creep into each passing day. As I stepped back out into the late spring night to continue the walk with my friend, I thought about the importance of taking time to remember. Because the older we get, it only takes a second to forget.