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Licking around the rim


by Matt Potter


She pulled the car over to the kerb. And the man in the front passenger seat reached through the window and took the ice cream from the puffy clasp of a fat guy standing on the footpath. He licked around the cone's rim, smacking his lips — the passenger, not the fat guy — while the driver idled.

It all went like clockwork. Like a perfectly timed drop in a Mafia movie.

I watched this as I waited at the bus stop on Turmstra├če. Sure, it was a hot day, but the driver was in the middle of a driving lesson! The car said Fast Fahrschule on its roof.

I dipped my head so I could see the driver. And over my sunglasses, I saw her say something, just as the ice cream began to melt down his hand.

“What, you want some?” he said, in German loud enough for me to hear above the mid-afternoon traffic, licking his hand, tongue dripping white and creamy.

She replied — drowned out by a truck's exhaust brakes — and he said, between slurps, “What, you want me to starve?”

Meanwhile, the fat guy with the puffy clasp stood on the kerb, waiting. For what, I don't know. Perhaps a tip.

Perhaps a lick.

The driver turned the car into the traffic, and the fat guy watched them disappear.

I got on the bus, and he watched that disappear too.

After that, I don't know what he did. Though I'm sure it was something interesting.

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