A Fragment

Today I thought about this little place in Oregon we used to visit when I was a kid. I think it was in Portland. Anyway, it was called Al's. Al's Ice Cream Shop with the red booths. I remember that Al had this monkey he used to keep in the back - it wore a little coat and cap and used to peer through the red bars at us while we waited for our ice cream. I loved that place because the ice cream came in cones with miniature plastic animals on top - a camel, a moose, an ostrich.

There were only three of us then. One time my parents left us with this blond woman who had a couple kids of her own. She loaded us all into her mini-van but wouldn't tell us where we were going. When I asked, she said, "I've got something up my sleeve." I was too young to understand she didn't mean literally. She took us to Al's.

Isn't it strange what we remember?

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