One More Cup Of Coffee: THE WHOLE DONUT
A handwritten sign on the door says “CASH ONLY.” Taped to the counter, another sign says “CASH ONLY,” and on the cash register, there is a helpful and informative sign announcing “CASH ONLY.” A group of loud young-people-I-immediately-dislike barge through the door, all wearing green. High school? College? I can’t even tell anymore. I could give a shit. The boys speak with exaggerated New England accents, really hamming it the fuck up, in my eastern Mass opinion.
“Kenwe youse yaw bathrum?”
“Dooya godda buya doh-nut?”
One of the guys waits with a girl by the counter while their friends pee and poop without buying doh-nuts. “We met last night,” the girl says to him. “Do you remember my name?” He does not. Haddaya like them apples.
I order a small black coffee and a jelly stick. Well, the little sign in the glass case says they’re called Jellystix, but I’m not sure if that’s singular or plural. I get jelly all over my notebook, which is okay, because it’s a cheap thing from Staples. “Hi, Colleeeeeeeen!” a man coos at the counter woman as he pushes through the door. In one breath, he says “You wallpapered. I got laid off. Fuckin’ assholes.” Colleeeeeeen says nothing. There’s no music playing, so aside from the refrigerator case, all I can hear is my notebook grinding sugar granules into the tabletop.
Outside, there are cops milling around at intersections, and I begin to notice more people wearing more green clothes. Irish pride shit. I realize I’ve accidentally stumbled into a road race, The Holyoke St. Patrick’s 5K. Engine 5 pulls into the Whole Donut lot as crowds form along the street, waiting to watch other people run past, which is a thing people do, I guess. The one goddamned day I drive into goddamned Holyoke for a goddamned donut and coffee, and I’ve placed myself directly on a goddamned race course. Ugh. My car’s going to get blocked in this parking lot and I’ll be trapped in a shamrock-infested hellscape for hours.
Fuck this. I scrawl a number on my shirt with the remains of my Jellystix and sprint out the door. The crowd cheers me as I pass. “CASH ONLY!” they chant. “CASH ONLY!” I run, arms spread, flipping off both sides of the street at the same time. It only makes them cheer more. I run and I run, to a place where the weekend leprechauns can’t catch me, to a place where I can be free.