Writing 101: Day 8, no adverbs – An ice cream sundae in the park

The park is as it has been for one hundred years, give or take a water fountain or two. The trees bend leaf-laden arms overhead until they touch, their pale green tips entangling and clinging to one another.
The wooden slatted benches are more comfortable than the modern “improvements” they replaced – those hard, flattened arches of concrete that were touted as an “evolution” in design. Alas, our sitting apparatus had never evolved, and one noisy night a local college group demolished them with a great clamor and a final cheer. We were all grateful.
I think of that now as I chase the little rivulet of ice cream that’s creeping down my chin. The napkin catches it. I had coveted that voluptuous banana split that Louise had touted, telling me in graphic detail of its delicious perfection, the superiority of the whipped cream (“Real cream – none of that plastic stuff”), and the gleaming roundness of that perfect red maraschino cherry that dazzled from the snowy summit. I had wavered, but told her in an unconvincing voice that all I really wanted was a small chocolate sundae. She had snorted, but plopped an extra cherry on top all the same.
The sun is warm but not yet burning, and it seems that everyone else in town has decided that lunch in the park is a good idea. From the squirrel that snuffles and grunts and swishes its feather-duster tail, to Mr. Parker who has deserted the bank, loosened his tie, and slipped his feet halfway out of his impeccable Florsheims, to the young mothers in pastel shorts who lean their heads together and giggle and then make patting gestures in the air as they describe curing infant fussiness.
But there are few of the mainstays of the town – the solid working men who populate the box factory and the fields. It would be too far a trek in heavy boots and sweat-stained overalls. And it would take time, time they could use to tell embellished tales of weekend fishing trips, arms waving in the air to measure their catch, voices raised and excited over the rainbow trout that got away. They will be lolling against the tree trunks, bone-weary, enjoying the company of their coworkers and friends who chomp on everything from biscuits and jelly to the remains of last night’s now-rubbery chicken fried steak.
Dabbing at my sticky chin, I deliberate whether to arc the empty container into the trash from here. But no, my images of a graceful, Whitey Ford throw usually culminate in splattered wreckage on the grass. Besides, Mr. Parker has his eyes closed now, and there is a possibility he will nod off. A poor throw could make a harsh bounce off the metal and startle everyone.
The chimes from the church bell tower begin, and I know it’s time to go. I see Mr. Parker jerk into full consciousness. Perhaps I could make that throw. When it seems no one is looking, I lift my arm and let it fly. It takes forever before it hits the back of the trash can, hesitates, and then slides inside, a trail of melting ice cream on the plastic liner the only evidence.
“Yes!” I think.
A small victory on a perfect day.

4 thoughts on “Writing 101: Day 8, no adverbs – An ice cream sundae in the park

  1. My goodness..This is so descriptive that I could almost taste that ice cream sundae, feel the sun and see the people as if I were in that beloved park. Bravo !

    Liked by 1 person

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