Barb sees a sign that says Maui Snow Factory two doors down.
“I don’t know, let’s see.”
“Maui snow,” says the sign, “is a frozen confection that isn’t shaved ice, or ice cream, or frozen yogurt”. A bronze muscular dude with dark hair and a diver’s watch is standing behind the counter. He sports a goatee, a warm smile, and a white tee-shirt with a black yin-yang symbol embroidered on the sleeve.
“I’ve never heard of this,” says Barb. “Is it like typical Hawaiian shave ice?”
“Not exactly,” he smiles, “I had it first in Taiwan and decided to bring it back here.”
“We’ll take two coconut-pineapple flavored snows,” I said, and he went to work on his inexplicable Taiwanese device.
“Obama said shave ice was one of his favorite things,” said Barb.
So I expected that this snow bit was only some clever ad man’s idea, and what I was going to get would be the typical ice with flavored syrup running all over it, the kind you get in Los Angeles from Mexican street vendors that push sheet-metal carts through the barrios. Once, on the streets of Compton, I saw the sheriffs arrest an old Mexican man for selling flavored ices without a license. He must have been seventy, and posing a real threat to society, the old bugger. But that was then and now it’s today, as Dave Mason once wrote, a different name and a different face.
Under the snowman’s counter is a chalk board, filled with names and local graffiti, and next to the register, a basket of sidewalk chalk.
“Can I write our names here?” I ask, while he works the mysterious levers on his inscrutable Taiwanese machine.
“That’s what it’s for, Braddah.”
He hands us a couple of cups filled with something that looks like ice cream pasta. It’s stringy and piled up in the cup like spaghetti. It’s like frozen cotton candy that melts in your mouth like magic and leaves nothing but flavor. This is what we bold travelers wanted, what every traveler wants, to eat something completely foreign and discover you love it.
I write our initials with hot pink chalk in a heart just like a teenager, and step back to admire my work. Choosing hot pink was a fantastic decision. Making it real big was good too. I’m surprised no one else used hot pink, everyone used darker colors. But something is lacking.
I need more than a sign to proclaim my love for Barbara. I want to hire a sky-writer to write it all over the sky. She’s lucky I don’t own the Good Year blimp. I want everyone in the known world to understand my situation and the blessing she gave me, the tools to help me examine my own self. I want them to know about her goodness and strength of heart. I guess that’s how love is. You want to proclaim it from the highest mountain to tell all the people on Earth because God already knows.
That’s one thing about love; it has no age limits, no bar codes, no expiration dates, and no age restrictions.