A mother gets on the #1 train with her little boy, about 4 or 5 years old. He is hungrily licking on a paper cup of rainbow ice. A woman sitting next to me gets up so he can sit down, since it's obvious he is paying way more attention to that rainbow ice than to keeping his balance on the moving train. He is slowly sipping melted ice from the edges of the cup, then pushing the ice up from the bottom. "Look," he says, "it's getting higher." Is he pretending that there's more ice in the cup even as he sucks up what's there? His mother suggests that if he's eating the ice, shouldn't there be less? No, he shakes his head, "it's getting higher."
The boy runs his fingers over the ice. "See, there are different colors," he points out to those of us sitting nearby. "It's a rainbow!" Then he licks his finger. His mother suggests that he not eat his ice by way of his finger. He goes back to sucking melted bits of ice.
At 59th Street, mother and child get off. So we'll never know how long it took that little boy to finish his ice, or what he said when it was all gone.