Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Holy Donuts

 A Short Story

            Torus of love. Frosting of light. Sprinkles of peace.
            Wherever we gather, whenever we gather, we take the donut, we break it and we bless it, saying, “Take. Eat. Holy pastry purchased for you.”
            And so it is with the coffee. We fill our mugs and bless them, saying, “Brown liquid of understanding, poured for you. Take, blow gently, sip. Creamer is in the back for any who need it.”
            And the service begins.
            Most days, Jack shares first.
            “Good morning. My name is Jack and I love donuts.”
            “Hello, Jack,” we reply.
            “Sunday mornings were all about the donuts,” he begins. “My parents popped an 8-track into the stereo, usually the Kingston Trio, but sometimes Neil Diamond or America’s Greatest Hits. Then Dad would say, ‘Let’s go,’ and we’d hop into the car and drive the ten blocks to Dunkin’ Donuts. I’d always pick the chocolate crème filled, even though I kind of thought it was gross. My sister would get maple logs or some other godawful thing. I used the comics section of the Sunday paper to capture the drifts of powdered sugar.”
            Here he gets a little misty-eyed. “Damn, I miss those times.”
            And we raise our mugs to Jack and we dunk or not dunk, depending on our personal choice of donuts, and we take a large bite, savoring it, trying to become one with the donut, even if only for a moment.
            After we go around the circle – always a circle – I step up to the center and make my plea.
            “Friends, we thank you for coming. We thank you for partaking in the holy donut. And we thank you for your generous love offering of cash or gift cards.”
Folks drop what they can spare into the coffee canister I keep perched on a chair next to the door. They shuffle out, with promises to return next week.
Today, a young woman, she’d called herself Ruth during her testimony, held back after the rest of the group cleared out. She helped me stack chairs.
“I wanted to thank you,” she said. She couldn’t have been more than 25. Not conventionally pretty, she maintained an air of disarray that vanished, I’d noticed, while partaking in the donut.
“No, no,” I said. “Thank you for coming. We wouldn’t be here without folks like you.” Trite, I know, but in my experience, donut worshipers prefer their pastries large and their talk small.           
            She stacked the last chair and followed me to the front of the room.
            “I just know there’s something in them,” she said. “It’s, well, more powerful than us.”
            I nodded. “The sugar. Real addictive. You’ve got to be careful.”
            I flicked off the lights and motioned for her to lead us out of the room. She lingered in the doorway.
            “No,” she said. “It’s more than that. There’s an energy. A light. You guys seem to understand it. There’s power there, something…” She trailed off, bit her lip, then finally walked outside.
            I pulled the door closed.
            “We all sense it,” I said.
We put the group together last year when Jack and I found ourselves waxing poetic about the appeal of donuts. We started meeting at a local Dunkin’ Donuts until a rather dour woman named Charlotte started going on and on about Krispy Kreme. So to be more ecumenical, we started meeting at a local rec center.
            “Well,” I said, “thanks again for helping straighten up.”
            Ruth nodded, shoved her hands into her pockets and walked toward the parking lot.
            I locked the door, then turned to find myself face to face with her.
            “Oh,” I said.
            “I’m Jessica,” she said.
Before I could ask about the name change or even blurt out my own name she backed me against the door and kissed me.
And kissed me.
And kissed me.
I did not resist.
She took two steps back, shoved her hands back into her pockets and then smiled at me.
“The power of donuts,” she said.
I nodded. The power of donuts indeed.
“Same time next week?” Ruth who was actually called Jessica asked.
All I could do was nod and watch her vanish into the darkness.
Torus of love. Frosting of light.


Charlotte said...

While I am quite please that you have a character named Charlotte who too rightly prefers KK over DD, I'm not sure what to think about her being "dour". Perhaps we KKers should smile more.....

And for added word verification is "storyo". As in, I enjoyed your story, yo!

davidbdale said...

How I miss those days too!

For all their obvious aphrodisiac qualities, I can't help but think there's a certain emptiness, a void of some kind, dare I say a hole at the center of that circle you form every week?

Funny stuff, Neil. I mean, deep, very spiritual.

Laura Eno said...

The power of donuts...
I, myself, have been trying to overcome their lure.
Funny read!

Karen from Mentor said...

Oh My Goodness Neil. This is my first foray into your world and I'm so glad that I came. This was delightfully funny.

As far as donuts go-I think it's the power of the whole endless circle thing that they have going on. Well that and the little "extras" that we visitors to your Earth have inserted into the recipes to keep you all pliant.

Thank you for sharing. Why aren't you in #fridayflash?

Karen :0)

~Tim said...

God told me to buy donuts.

I'm glad someone else understands the deep spiritual nature of the experience.

John Wiswell said...

Mmmm. Frosting of light.

If only peaceful sprinkles weren't fattening, all the world could get glazed.

Sorry. Some things bring out the obesity in me.

Marisa Birns said...

Boston Kreme donuts were the ones I always loved once upon a time.

Very amusing!

Cat Russell said...

OMG, this is too cute for words. 'Donut worshippers?' ROFLOL That was freakin' awesome!

pegjet said...

the absurdity of this sprinkles. Hmmm, boston creme donut....

ah, it's been too long for me. LOVED that you slammed KK--not as good, no sirree.

This was so much fun! You have great style too.

Thom Gabrukiewicz said...

The power of doughnuts, indeed. Great flash.

quin browne said...

i smiled at the beginning, and had a full on laugh by the end.

this is an association we can all join.


That was great too bad she took a powder right as things were getting good!

(powder? Donuts? Get it?)

Anyway great story. Thanks for sharing.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

No one loves coffee and doughnuts like Canadians do. Only here, it's all about 'the Timmy's.'
If you're here sometime, give it a try -- you really will be worshipping at the altar of the Chocolate Dipped.
Funny story!
And for all you folks who are saying they "miss those days," what's up with THAT?
We can't smoke, we can't drink, we can't eat carbs or red meat or god knows what else.
Thank goodness for the lowly doughnut:
One of life's simple pleasures.

Mark Kerstetter said...

"we go around the circle – always a circle." Delightful and well told.

I knew a guy who was serious about getting a patent on square donuts. "It will never work," I told him, "never."

Mike Robertson said...

What a funny great little tale! As for me, I'll no longer resist donuts. Especially with powdered sugar.