Fame is like eating gelato in Italy during the summer. Everyone tells you that if you go, you have to try the gelato. So you think about that. Even if it’s early morning, you tell yourself, it’s hot already, there’s no line, you’re in Italy and it may be your only chance, so try the gelato! The gelato tastes so sweet and it’s cool, so when you finish, you get back in line. How often do you get the chance to eat gelato in Italy? Besides, you tell yourself, you can’t leave Italy without trying other flavors. It’s all so easy, so satisfying, so innocent. The guys behind the counter begin to recognize you. You feel special. The next time you appear at the counter, they slip you a free one with a little extra. Now you know that you’re special. You have a place at the gelato counter and they recognize it!
The day heats up, the gelato is cool, the line lengthens. Now you need to wait a bit longer. You reach the counter and the guys there still wink when they see you, but there’s a weariness, too.
The line grows into a crowd and briefly, you wonder if it’s even worth it. Then you think of gelato and find yourself vowing to do whatever it takes to stay near the front of the line. You do things that you aren’t proud of as you work it. Then, once again, you get your gelato and by God, you start over, eating it in line.
The locals retreat from the heat but the tourists come out in full force. Among them are seasoned gelato-eaters who are even more desperate than you are. Sizing up one another while you work on your gelato, you suddenly realize that you’ve finished your gelato while the others still have theirs. What are they doing that you don’t know about? How to they make their gelato last?
Reaching the counter, you decide to double up. It’s not excess, it’s gelato! The day rolls on, people are hot, tired, and impatient. You make your gelato last but the competition is growing. You do everything you can think of to slip ahead in line; you find yourself doing shocking things, all to get more gelato. The guys at the counter nod, but you aren’t getting as much gelato as you once did. You head for the end of the line, feeling weary yourself.
The day is waning, you’re feeling fat and out of shape as you notice kids filling the streets, challenging you for the gelato that’s rightfully yours!
A cute kid strolls right up to the counter, snatching a cup without even paying! Everyone smiles as he tastes it, then he fades into the crowd. Something about him reminds everyone of Justin Bieber and we scratch our heads. He’s so cute, the crowd murmurs for a moment, then they shrug. The gelato guys turn a look at one another, wondering why they their precious gelato to that worthless kid? They turn to locate him but the kid is history, a fleeing blip in a sea of customers. The gelato guys frown and get back to work, leaving you with hopes that after the kid, they will have learned to embrace you as their loyal, gelato-deserving favorite.
By the time you reach them, the gelato guys have forgotten the incident with the kid and are now laughing and joking with a whole group of kids. They barely acknowledge you as you take your gelato and move to the end of the line.
The line has gotten longer, the patrons leaner, fresher, and more confident that they, too, will get their fair share of gelato. Waiting again for your next opportunity, you reflect on gelato, thinking how there’s only so much.
Trying to make gelato friends is not easy for they appear and disappear as the crowds flow and ebb. You edge around another seasoned, gelato aficionado, sliding in ahead of him, hoping that your appeal will trump his. After all, whoever can get the most gelato wins, and you’ll do anything, whatever it takes, to keep appearing at the gelato counter to get as much gelato as you can garner.
Gazing ahead, your gelato dripping, you notice that despite your tactics, the counter still seems almost out of reach. Something has to happen! You vow to do anything to make it; anything to be noticed! You are determined to get your rightful gelato even if you have to fight to remain at the front of the line!
And so you begin. Dirty tricks start appearing as you fight and claw your way through the weaker gelato devotees to move up in the line. Your outrageous scenes get attention, briefing distracting the other in the queue, so you slither close, appearing like magic in front of the gelato boys. Ta-dah! The gelatoistas barely notice you as throngs crowd their precious space. You smile but they give you little notice, waving you away, sans gelato!
Can’t they see that your need for gelato is greater than any other? You glare. You humiliate yourself, all in the pursuit of your gelato. When it becomes too much, you turn away emptyhanded, from their accusing eyes.
Looking elsewhere, you notice that kids are everywhere. Where did they come from? Why so many? How did they get ahead of you in line? How did they do that? Suddenly, masses of youthful types are at the counter getting served - getting the gelato that they used to give so freely to you! What is wrong with this picture?
Turning around, you look for the the starting point. The line seems so long that the end is almost unreachable. What if you get in that line only to be turned down again?
You sigh and retreat to your room, realizing that a whole day has passed while you dedicated yourself to the pursuit of gelato. Looking in the mirror, you see a gelato-altered face that you don’t recognize, covered in the drippings of gelato from the past. Can you retire from the pursuit of gelato? Can you ever go back? Will it ever be the same?