The Ice Cream Fix

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I came home today, and all I could think about was ice cream. I haven’t been eating sugar, so it was kind of weird that I was fixated on it, but I was really obsessing. I had been obsessing about it last night, but I managed to keep myself busy enough not to cave. I was in an emotional garbage dump yesterday, and I just wanted to do something to numb myself out. Ice cream is my drug of choice.

So, I was driving home today, and all I could think of was ice cream. I DESERVE some ice cream, I thought. I imagined my favorite Cold Stone Creamery mix-up – coffee ice cream with heath bars and caramel. My imaginary spoon slid through that creamy latte-colored sweetness and picked up huge chunks of heath bar bits. I lifted the spoon to my mouth and let that coolness touch my lips before it slid onto my tongue. The warmth of my saliva melted that coffee mix, releasing the milk fat and sugar on my taste buds. The milky liquid drips down the back of my throat. Imagining my lover with all of the intensity of anticipation made me breath harder. I talked myself out of it.

It’ll only make me feel bad, I told myself. I’ve been sleeping well and feeling good for a few weeks now as I’ve been avoiding most sugar. I don’t want to mess that up especially on a weekend when I want to have energy and enjoy my time. The thing is I feel like crap. I feel really down. My mood from yesterday was a lot worse than today, but I’m feeling a low grade sadness and tears are just waiting to drop down my cheeks. Oh, screw it. I’m getting ice cream.

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I felt better just driving down to Callandro’s to choose my drug of choice from the frozen pharmacy. I looked at the Talenti gelato with it’s beautiful colors and clear packaging, showcasing the creamy goodness inside. I floated down to the commercial Ben & Jerry’s section, but I knew I wanted my favorite New Orleans Ice Cream brand. I finally found it, and read the ingredients on the Bananas Foster, Creole Cream Cheese, Coffee & Chicory and Mississippi Mud Debris flavors. They all looked really yummy, but I opted for the caramel creamy goodness of Praline Crunch – a local favorite according to the container. Score!

The checkout lady told me to have a nice night. “I will,” I said. “Now that I have my date.” She looked perplexed and I just giggled grabbing my plain brown packaging and skipping out the door. Just the anticipation of slurping up my creamy drug and the excitement of my drug deal gone down made my heart flutter. My mood completely changed as I drove home, my mind in a fog of ecstasy. It was so frozen when I got home that I had to nuke in the in the microwave for a second before it was creamy enough for the perfect fix.

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I’m halfway through the container. It’s actually not as tasty as I’d hoped, but flavor wasn’t what I was after. There’s nothing wrong with the ice cream. It’s just that my desire is to feel good. I want to feel happy and satisfied and full. Disappointingly, I won’t find any of that in this container. This is just ice cream. It’s not love. It’s not a brilliant awe-inspiring sunset that makes me gasp in admiration. There are no waves crashing inside the container or mountain streams gurgling under the lid. It’s not a warm touch, a hug or even a shoulder to cry on. I haven’t heard it utter an encouraging word or even make me laugh. There is no promise of feeling better when I’m done. In fact, I know that I will feel worse when the sugar wears off, and I land back in my original mood intensified by the sugar crash.

I know all of this, and yet I do this once more. It happens with much less frequency these days. There were times in my life when I did it every day. There were times when a pint wasn’t enough. But, I’ve done it hundreds of times in relentless pursuit of an evaporating cloud of frozen cream love. I keep hoping that one day my drug of choice will give me what I want … what I fantasize about … what I need.  Insanity … doing the same thing over and over with the same result. Even my dog knows it’s just ice cream.

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