On the first day of summer, I was laying on my bed staring at Orlando Bloom and his huge adam's apple when I heard the first ice cream truck of the season. It was playing "How much is that doggy in the window."
I was going to spend the next three months listening to an ice cream truck drive in relentless circles around our trailer park. Trailer parks are magnets for ice cream trucks. Ice cream trucks and satellite dishes. We had those in abundance.
I got off my bed and trudged to the curb to watch the ice cream truck go by. If I had money, which I didn't, I would've stuck my arm out and waved to the guy. He had a gold tooth in front, and wore a RAIDERS baseball cap. I would've asked him for an orange creamsicle, and then I would've changed my mind and gotten a chocolate dipped mint cone. Then I would've sat down on the curb and eaten it really slowly.
But I didn't have any money. So, the truck drove slowly, hopefully by, and the driver waved. I didn't wave back.
Balancing on the edge of the curb, I listened to the music fade and decided to go see if anyone had moved in next to the Finleys.
The trailer park was quiet. A lot of people were gone to work. I knew the Finleys would be home. They never went anywhere. I had spent the last 2 summers hanging out in their trailer while my dad was at the cherry warehouse and my mom was sleeping off her last shift.
The trailer next door still had the FOR RENT sign up front, so I walked by and went up the ramp to the Finley's front door. Tapping lightly, I could hear a basketball game playing in the background and the sound of Mrs. Finley's house slippers as she shuffled to the glass door. She pulled back the curtain, holding a pack of hot dogs, and smiled and waved at me as she yanked at the door. It didn't budge. She grumbled at it for a second before yelling through the glass at me that it was stuck and to pull from my side. I pushed the door aside easily.
"Come in!" she said, too loudly. "I'm making wieners for Harry and I for lunch. Have some." I glanced at the clock--10:00 in the morning. "Um, thanks..." I grinned back at her. She shuffled towards the kitchen and I followed, waving at Mr. Finley as he sat, enthroned on a plush pink armchair. He had three remote controls lined up at his fingertips, and the volume up at full blast. He nodded in my direction.
In the kitchen, Mrs. Finley was putting the hot dogs on ancient white melamine plates that had gold roses peeling off of them. Next to each hot dog, she put a pile of crushed up, stale potato chips, and half a Twinkie. Shoving one plate into my hands she said "Come see my bedroom. I redid it. So it would match."
"Match?" I muttered. Match what???