The Ice Cream Van Man

Ice Cream Van MAn 300x199 The Ice Cream Van ManI scream

Is there a difference between I scream – ing and ice cream?

I ask this because ice cream makes I scream, so technically they are both one and the same.



I love ice cream, but not the ice cream van siren that haunts my dreams and interrupts my peace. The melody is clear – loud – piercing the dark skies, sensorial hallucinate – ing I.

The tip of my tongue is numb.

This is not musical chairs. When the melody stops I am still making a mad dash for the window, determined to see the source of the melody. I struggle with the handles; drunk on fatigue I press my face up against the glass.


“MY ICE CREAM!” I want it


I see two men by the white and blue van which is covered in stickers of the delights ice cream vans are meant to sell; Cornettos, Flakes, Soleros, Magnums, Feasts…


I’m sure.


Who else hangs around an ice cream van at midnight, on an East London back street?


I manage to open the window and push my head through that gap to get a better look. The transaction begins with the money exchanging hands and I wonder what is coming next?

Angel Dust, Crank, Blow, E’s, Black Beauty’s, China White, Hash?

Who knows?

There is movement. The ice cream man is at the window where first the money changed hands. He is holding something, but it is not yet clear.

I see a cone.

Wafer – topped with vanilla ice cream. I assume it is vanilla because it is a creamy white. I’ve never heard of an ice cream van stocking coconut.

My favourite!

Shall I scream for ice cream? The window is open, surely they’d hear? Would they?

White in white


Coke laced ice cream. I want to try

My whole tongue is numb

Not just the tip

I want some.


I stumble down the stairs, reach the barrier between me and my ice cream world, and STOP.



I am not dressed.

Knickers and Bra:


No pockets, no money.

My body for ice cream is not a fair trade.

Clumsily I make my way back up the stairs.

I sink onto my bed.

White sheets

Ice cream is imprinted on my brain.

I scream for my lost dream.



Where I live now you don’t see children playing on the streets ever, not like when I was growing up where kids would be in and out of neighbours’ houses and in front of the houses playing with dolls, roller skating, hop scotching, fighting, running races… In fact I never see kids without their parents unless they are going to school or outside a temple or a mosque waiting for their parents to come out after a service has finished.

Understandably, parents are protective.

They are nervous of:

Paedophiles –

They watch Maddy on the news and swear it could never be them. After all they wouldn’t be so irresponsible as to leave their children alone so that they can go and eat, but still they are nervous because the paedophiles exist.

Police, The Anti Terrorist Squad particularly –

They hold their sons with a gripping firmness. They know the establishment will arrest someone wearing a turban for Islamic terrorism in the blink of an eye, not knowing that the turban marks one out as a Sikh. The establishment see Sikhism, Islam and Hinduism as “All the same ain’t they?” Colour is the determining factor.

Moral Corruption –

In a society where Boozers are on every corner and binge drinking is the norm, they fight to keep them away from street influences.

Are CHILDREN not the target market for an ice cream seller? Correct me if I’m wrong here. There aren’t many children out on the street ever in this area, but surely one would find some on the weekend or just after school hours on a week day. The ice cream van sets off his melody on weekday late nights when children should be ASLEEP!

I know it is a man that drives the van because I saw that night when I peeked through my window. I did not see his face though; it remains a blur in my memory. I am curious about this man, so the next time I hear the melody I am going to get myself onto the street to find out why he only sells ice cream in the night.

Why do you think an ice cream man would drive his van around the back streets of East London in the pitch black night playing his melody?

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