My ice cream fell on the sidewalk

So like anyone with money troubles I cursed the loss of 4 dollars and kept walking. 20 minutes later, I started to cry. Over my spilled ice cream. Not because of the ice cream itself (I hope, though it’s possible I really wanted that ice cream) but because it seemed like a perfect metaphor for my life, and I suddenly saw myself in a boxy t-shirt with stumpy little legs, like a character in a Peanuts cartoon. Why so glum, Charlie Brown? Is it because you’ve never kicked the football, never gotten a homerun, never won over the little red-haired girl? Is it because the other kids don’t invite you to parties, or use your bald head as a model for the design of their jack o’ lantern? We always go back to square one, Charlie Brown. The difference is that you keep trying, managing to summon as much hope in the 20th attempt at you did in the 1rst. But I’m starting to keep track. Keep track of the slights and the insults and how many times that bitch Lucy has pulled that football away. I’m not supposed to do that. The lovely people in my life who tell me things will get better–their arguments don’t work if I keep track, if I say “no, look, here is the evidence. I always end up back here.”

The broken chemicals in my body are the mean children, the griefs I carry are those parents who gave you rocks when you went trick or treating. I would have sat down and cried right there in the grass.

“Can’t you do anything right, Charlie Brown?”

I don’t know.    


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I'm a former student of English literature, an editor and a creative writer who has been attempting to live with body dysmorphic disorder as well as severe anxiety and a recent diagnosis of Bipolar II. I believe that struggles with mental health are often lifelong and people in these situations need comfort, support and occasional moments of peace granted to them in order to survive.

One thought on “My ice cream fell on the sidewalk”

  1. I understand the metaphor of Charlie Brown and the football slightly differently. It’s not that he deluded himself into thinking this time it would be different and never noticed that things didn’t change. Indeed, that would be foolish because mounting evidence is mounting evidence and the probability of success is something that can and should be assessed with reference to what has already happened. Rather, I thought the metaphor was precisely that he did not make the calculation of the probability of success. Instead, he did what he could knowing the rest was indeed in Lucy’s hands.
    The question is why trust Lucy? The answer Pascal gives us is that, in fact, not even that is for us to decide. We are always already running at the ball.


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