I was house managing a play when she walked in. She was not the only celebrity I'd met at Williamstown Theatre Festival, summer stock home of so many of Broadway's favorites and hopefuls. As she walked towards the theatre's entrance, I was faced with a moral dilemma I hoped I'd never face. But nonetheless I was forced to action—it cut me to say it, but I must do my job, and I must do it well:
"You know you can't bring that into the theatre, right?" speaking of the dish of ice cream in her hands. No food or drink was allowed in the theatre.
Remembering herself, she looked down at her Styrofoam bowl, complete with plastic spoon and overturned sugar cone—and gleefully sputtered, "I got here earlier, but I needed some ice cream so I left."
The following is what that made this moment in time such a pinnacle of my existence. Rather than asking where there might be a receptacle to dispose of her unfinished delight, she promptly inquired if there might be a freezer to store her sweet temptation. Dutifully, I escorted her.
There was much to discuss with my new compatriot in lactose. She had gone to the local place, Lickety Split, and was still reeling from how good it was. Enthusiastically, I told her she had to try their signature flavor, Purple Cow. "Ooh, what's that?" "Raspberry ice cream with chocolate and white chocolate pieces and a raspberry swirl."
For some reason, I did not ask her what flavor she had tried. I was feeling a bit shy, nervous to ask such a personal question, but felt confident enough to make a few sidelong glances. My leering soon left me deflated: she seemed to have a frou-frou coffee flavor.
Arriving at our rendezvous destination, I opened the freezer door for her with all the chivalry I could muster. Already inside the freezer sat a half gallon I had placed for storage earlier. "I am an ice cream fiend," I told her, feeling a little exposed. I felt safe, though, not at all ashamed or scared.
As her treat entered my secret place, I sneaked another peek at her dish's contents. At second glance it appeared to be deep, pure, and uniform as only chocolate can be. This put all my fears to rest. We walked the 15 second trek back to the theatre with smiles on our faces.
She entered the theatre and my friend who works in the box office called me over to ask where "Marisa Tomei and I" had walked off to together all "buddy-buddy." I told him I had taken her to a freezer to store her ice cream, and in saying this I realized I was probably the only person in the world who thought this to be more intimate than anything else we could have accomplished in such a short span of time. Mmm, ice cream talk. Foreplay for the loser.
• • •
As the play came to a close I took my post near the door as people exited. She came to me and asked me where the stage door was to meet the actors exit from. I directed her in the proper direction and told her with a knowing smile, "I can show you to your ice cream when you're ready." I looked forward to another rendezvous, once more sharing our passion, and again showing her the opulence of my frozen safehold.
...But sadly, this is where our story ends. It seems our heroin, in all of her cravings, did not feel the need to come and claim her beloved.
Oh, how we all dream in this life! Dreams of theatres where ice cream can gain admittance, dreams of conversations with movie stars, dreams of Marisa Tomei inviting us over for sex and pie. How rare it is that we appreciate the dreams that we live daily more than the dreams we wish would come true. How rare it is to be so virtuous! To hold such virtue would be, well, the kingdom of heaven. Yes, and ice cream is the kingdom come to earth. Ice cream, one could conclude, IS life!
Indeed. And I hold the spoon.