Chocolate Avenue

I step out of the car and immediately smell a familiar, yet surprising sweetness; chocolate. We are welcomed into Leila and Hooman’s Pennsylvania home, just a couple of blocks away from the Hershey Chocolate Factory. On our way we passed a small farm with a dozen cows, reminding us that we had entered a farm town. So I didn’t expect buildings and in fact saw none. Leila and Hooman’s town house is small, with a tiny doorway, two rooms and a small living room. I love your house! I exclaim to Leila. On the balcony we drink tea from little cups that came all the way from Tehran. There is a nice breeze but the temperature is almost 90 degrees. I don’t know if it is because of the smell of chocolate or knowing I’m away from home, but I’m too happy, almost unreasonably. But that’s how a good life should make you feel, right?
Inside the Chocolate Factory I buy different kinds of sweets. Hershey’s Kisses are packaged in various ways and I’m happy to give them away as gifts. I’ll give one to H, I decide. He loves chocolate.
The day ends quickly, but sweetly. It’s delicious, this world of chocolate. We pass Chocolate Avenue and head back inside their home. They treat us with more tea and we drink passionately. We talk of American life. Why it’s beautiful and tragic at the same time. For now, Leila’s American life isn’t a pretty picture. She misses her parents, her home, her old life. No matter how delicious Mr. Hershey’s chocolates are, they lack the sweetness of her mother’s homemade apple pie.
In America, I have learned to indulge, appreciate, ferociously devour life’s little sweets. I have learned to be excited over a piece of chocolate, over a little avenue called Chocolate. In America, I have fallen in love with myself, my creations, my imaginations, my ability to comprehend comedies, like those of our everyday life.

One Comment, RSS

  1. hairofthedawg August 22, 2006 @ 11:38 am

    I wonder how different apple pies are from one country to another. My favorite is huckleberry. Tart and sweet.
    I love chocolate. Add some nuts and it’s perfect. Rocky Road ice cream. Neapolitan was the flavor of choice at the grandparent’s though, but fortunately it worked out because I liked chocolate and my brother liked strawberry. Grandpa got stuck with vanilla, which didn’t seem to bother him much.
    I really enjoyed reading your final paragraph!!

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