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The jingle starts it every day. Mrs. Smith by the door, dollar in her hand. She is hungry with ice cream love. The ice cream always looks back at her. Not like her husband. None of her dresses fit anymore. That’s okay. Ice cream love is a much better fit.
Mr. Smith does look at her. He watches her from the couch. Watches his widening wife, her chest heaving with desire. He knows she loves the ice cream man. That the ice cream is just an excuse. That the ice cream man is younger and tanner, but that’s okay. Frankly, the ice cream man is a much better fit.
The ice cream man is jingling, all right. He is waiting for next door Laura to emerge her pretty self, same as she does every day at this hour. She is a flower who comes out to water the other flowers and never even looks his way. Of course, he thinks, his ice cream would only plump her in the middle, lopside her perfect stem. He thinks of his wife, home and garbled from ice cream bloat. Very much like the woman who lives in the house next to Laura, who runs out to his truck, sweaty dollar in her fist. He hopes one day pretty Laura will look his way. That she will hear his jingle. He thinks again of his wife. And how pretty Laura is a much better fit.
Next door Laura hates the daily jingle. Upsets the roses, she thinks. Their delicate systems. She thinks about all of that goo and ice cream fat which are of no use to flowers. She has spent her life watching as people-love bloomed and wilted and crumbled to dust. Seen the looks of lust from the ice cream man who should have been looking at his wife, from Mr. Smith who should have been looking at his wife instead of pretty, next door Laura, and frankly, at this point, her darling flowers, rooted and still, are really a much better fit.