Adolph opened the door, then looked up, startled by the bell. He saw it, understood what it was, and the wrinkles covering his face relaxed.
He entered the shop and stopped, four paces from the counter. He looked up at the sign and scratched his full, grey mustache. What to get, what to get.
There were too many options, and not enough certainty that they would be good. Adolph considered and rejected a milkshake (too much dairy), a sundae (same), a burger (too hot) and a juice (too boring). Finally, he saw what he wanted and stepped forward.
“What can I get for you?” a young girl behind the counter asked.
“I would like,” Adolph said in a carefully practiced American accent, “a root beer float.”
“Okay, that’ll be three fifty, please.”
“Of course, here you are,” he said, handing her a five.
The girl gave him his change, then said, “Coming right up.” She turned, and while she prepared the float, he dropped some coins into the little cup labeled “tips”.
The girl returned a moment later and handed him the float. Adolph smiled, said, “Thank you,” and slowly walked over to a booth.
Sitting, Adolph looked at the drink, the vanilla ice cream floating in the dark brown liquid. He smiled, bent his head down, and took a sip. It was sweet – sweeter than he would normally like, but deliciously so, and he grinned.
The drink disappeared quickly, and Adolph stood. “Thank you!” he called out, and left, leaving the cup on the table, a small brown ring underneath.