It was the middle of summer: sticky-humid, with no hint of a breeze to cool us. I was visiting my cousins, who lived outside Xenia, Ohio.
We were outside doing what children do best—getting into things we shouldn’t. Aunt Leona called us inside and gave us money to go to the ice cream stand. Jubilation!
My cousin decided we’d take the short-cut, through a field of summer-ripe corn. The smell of it tickled my nose. We wove our way through tall cornstalks, trying to avoid bothersome patches of nettles and stinkweed.
Finally, we exited the field, the ice cream stand just across the street. I asked my cousin what he’s getting.
‘What’s a suicide slush?’ I asked. I wrinkled my nose in horror at his reply. Then, the ultimate childhood call-out. He dared me to get one, too. Of course I had to, although my heart was set on a vanilla cone.
With growing trepidation I watched as the vendor concocted our slushes, sliding the cups under each flavor and pumping a precisely timed icy squirt from each. The resulting mixture was disgusting greenish-brown. My cousin lowered his lips to the straw and slurped a third of it down at once, proclaiming it ‘The best Suicide ever!” There was nothing for it. I sipped.
My mouth sang in tones of orange/cherry/lemon-lime/blueberry/cola. We raced home, heads tingling with brain-freeze, hearts pounding with sugar rush, and finished our Suicides on the back porch.