Ice Cream

Her mother buys her first house Christmas 1980 with money she made from working as a commercial real estate broker in Lafayette, Indiana. The daughter is eleven and given two rooms, one for sleeping and one for the television that will keep her occupied while the mother is at her office during the day and then at the Cork and Cleaver having drinks meetings at night. The house is a ranch style with a basement rec room, which also has another, bigger television. There is a new microwave, an L-shaped sofa set, a Tiffany-style lamp hanging from a chain over a glass octagonal table, new duvet covers for both the mother’s queen and the daughter’s twin bed (red floral and black-and-white cat print, respectively), a Star Wars light saber missing its batteries leaning against the wall of the daughter’s room, an upright piano with letters of the notes written in the daughter’s hand on sticky masking tape on its keys; and the whole limestone-encrusted squareness, its rectangle picture windows and flagstone-entry-way luxury, its success-marker solidity (just a few years prior, the mother was a waitress at IHOP), sits perched at the edge of a deep ravine. “Where the glaciers stopped,” the mom’s new boyfriend, Scott, is explaining.

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