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ice cream truck

dischert - dey - meh - tay

برای دسر چی میل دارید؟

Dischert as a child of Iran, was 'sohan' - a saffron brittle made with wheat sprout, eggs, rosewater, sugar, butter, and cardamom, it is covered in crushed pistachios. Given the crunchy, buttery texture, it is highly addictive, which makes it easy to polish off an entire tin in one sitting, especially when there is a glass of piping hot tea nearby.

Most of our dischert are savory with a hint of sweetness. There are puddings and rice dishes with saffron and cinnamon. The closest we get to a western dessert is the gaz. Gaz is made with the sap of the Angevin plant, native to the Esfahan region; the higher the percentage of sap, the purer the gaz. Combined with rosewater, egg whites, and pistachios mixed with the sap then rolled in flour creates a sticky nougat. Many a great childhood memory of coming home with sticky faces covered in little shards of sticky gaz.

I was 43 the first time I came to New York and experienced the onslaught Americans call dischert. My first encounter was the Dunkins donut. Let us just say that my imagination could not have created such a thing. a ring of dough you deep fry - then frost with sugar and then sprinkle with more sugar. Single chocolate glazed with sprinkles has more single-serving calories in sugar than I experienced before the age of five! So imagine, on a lovely perfect April day in New York when a group of Iranian friends and I stumbled upon Emilio's soft serve. Persian cuisine is based on the idea of “hot & cold”, which is not to be confused as spicy or not spicy, rather it’s whether the food would create a sort of energy in your body or whether it would have a cooling effect. It is our joke that Emilio's soft serve is simultaneously both hot and the cold. The sugar and the exciting creates a distinct, almost mystical energy while eating it most definitely cools you down.

We have become convinced that he only comes to our neighborhood on the most perfect of the perfect days. Someone will mention Emilio's truck - - - And like a spell has been cast, the simple music will start, announcing his arrival in the neighborhood. A pied piper, if you will, for middle-aged Persian men. Emilio's is our heaven and we are his most devoted.


thing is, doll


"Do you want to come stay at my place instead of taking the train home?", I said in a drunken late night slur.

Over the crazy loud disco bar music, he leaned in and spoke softly and directly in my ear. “Oh honey, no, sleeping with you? No. That would complicate things and the last thing our darling friendship needs is complications. Don’t fuck where your secrets lay, dearest. Never fuck the grrl who knows the most about you.”

He immediately read the crestfallen look on my face. "Thing is doll, is that we both know you are looking for love. and that is awesome for you. For you. I am not looking for love. I'm looking for red hot fucks that end as quick as they ignited. I've done love a few times, I know the difference. And I'd be a pretty horrible best friend to take advantage of that."


earned respite

snow town

The crazy pace of the summer and autumn seasons are gently but completely eliminated when they arrive. Once we're past Thanksgiving weekend, everyone waits impatiently for their own set of reasons.

There is a wagering case of beer down at Asterbar on who guesses the time and date correctly.

Eager elementary school artists have been frantically creating and decorating construction paper replicas in hopes of calling them from their hiding place in the sky.

Bickman's Foods has stocked up knowing that they will keep people close from heading to the Walmart on the freeway or the food court at the mall a few exits down.

Gilman's hardware store displays a gleaming array of the newest in winter shovels. Just inside their front door, in a top lit case is the new fangled heated windshield scraper you've seen on TV.

Teachers will wake up and upon looking out the window, smile while putting the kettle on, having earned respite from the usual morning routine.

If there is a true magic spell, they are definitely it. The snowflake's earned reputation for blanketing our small town with calm and serenity is generations earned.


imagined reaching for them


I spent a great majority of my youth staring at the stars and imagined reaching for them. I had a poster of the astronauts that reached the moon on the wall of my bedroom till I was 20. I had hanging models of lunar modules and the space shuttle.

I have this book from my childhood that tracks what my aspirations were and every year on the line where it says "what do I want to be when I grow up?" - it says 'Astronaut' or 'Airline Pilot' or any number of aspirations.

I was a smart kid and wanted to do smart things.

"Look at your grades, I'm always after you about how lazy you are, you are nobody's future astronaut," he said to me nonchalantly.

It's amazing looking back on those years how much impact that single conversation had on me.

Pilot. no.

Engineer. impossible.

School Teacher. never.

Forest Ranger? too hard, too much biology. no.

By middle school, all of my greatest career aspirations were dissuaded.

Pop has been gone now for sixteen years and I'm fifty-two years old.

Every time I'm out in the country and I look up at the stars I stop and sigh, replaying that conversation like it just happened. Why did I let myself spend so many years whispering to myself, "not for me."?

I stop, rewarding myself with a big smile, realizing that childhood tape is playing in my head. I hit the firm stop button on it, take a deep breath - and I purposefully look back up at the night sky and reach for the stars.


they don't be listening to me


The call came through for medical assistance from Stately Meadows at 2am. It's that large assisted living center over on Wilkers street?
We laughed in the ambulance on the way over about what kind of trouble could they possibly be in at this hour.

We parked and grabbed our kits. Standing out front was a clearly upset female nurse, smoking a cigarette.

"I'm Nurse Higgins, the night supervisor," she said, angrily extinguishing her cigarette with her foot, "Sorry ta bother ya'll but we've got a mess on our hands."

She leads us into the facility and up a wide staircase into a set of rooms labeled "EXERCISE FOR LIFE!" - and in the center of one the room was a group of six men in a pile on top of a twister board.

"I told these fools that Twister in your 90s was a bad idea, but they don't be listening to me."