Sugar PocketsJanuary 20, 2016 by Michael Penney | 2 Comments
Shaved head with a zip up hoodie on, he stood at the Dunkin’ Donuts counter waiting for his breakfast. Over his shoulder a black woman in a purple evening gown stood vigilant near the door. There was a determined hatred in her eyes. Three other people stood in the front room of the tiny restaurant. A couple ordering at the front of the line. Another fixing her drink. The black woman stood, feet planted staring at the back of the Marine’s head.
Feeling her glare, he turned to see her staring but didn’t know what to say.
“Are you alright?” he asked her.
“I know who you are -I know what you are.” She said, “I’ve seen you before.”
He started, “Mam, we’ve never met-“
“LIAR!” exclaimed the woman.
“Look mam, I don’t know what you think is going on here but you need help “ he said calmly then turned around.
A second went by then he felt a tug on the right side of his hoodie. He looked down at his attacker’s hand in astonishment. She jammed a glazed donut deep into his pocket and began ripping the stitch. With a wild look in her, the lady leaned in – her breath hot.
“I know who you are and what you’ve done and I swear to the lord that I will tell the bishop about you.” The woman hissed as she crammed the crumbly thing deep into his pocket smashing it into pieces. He ripped her hand away.
“What the hell is wrong with you?!”
At that moment his friend jumped up from his spot at the table and rounded the corner. The group of friends they came in sat at the table. His friend couldn’t believe his eyes. Watching this lady in purple formal wear assaulting his buddy. He looked on in amazement as he ripped away his hoodie and shouted.
He didn’t know what else to say, “Lady, I don’t’ know what the hell is going on here but you need to get away from me and find some mental help.”
His friend looked on, finally finding the words
“Everything alright buddy?” He asked with a smirk. (always loving a good ‘train wreck’).
“Are you seeing this bro?”, pointing to the donuts spilling out of his pockets.
The patrons were all shocked. This whole scene of a woman in her Sunday best accosting a Marine with a donut is too much for them to handle. The lady fixing her drink is amazed. She has turned stark white and is backing out the door slowly. The couple in line stood in fear as the woman in the purple dress stomped out the side door into the parking lot. Terrified, they grab their meals and leave. Employees looked on in horror, not knowing what to do.
The young man picked up his tray and made his way toward the table to eat with his friends, shaken by the strange event. That doesn’t matter anymore. Hunger is the primary thought now. The sandwich before him doesn’t stand a chance. Flakey croissant, sausage, cheesiness and a large hot hazlenut coffee with cream to subdue the hangover. A slow bite, deliberately savoring the moment. He surveyed the table to see satisficed looks on the faces of —she’s in the window.
–she’s in the window–
Off the sidewalk standing in the rocks surrounding the green bushes in front of a dunkin donuts near the edge of a mall parking lot a woman in a purple evening gown is crying, watching him through the, floor-to-ceiling window, slowly dabbing her handkerchief on her cheek. – a deliberate scene.
His friend noticed first and grined. ‘My god this is priceless’
The whole table noticed her, standing there in the window. – She’s watching them, they’re watching her – She’s crying.
With a jingle the glass door opened and the Lady purple come in fast. Up to the edge of the table clutching her handkerchief tight in her hand. Her presence is felt but no one is making eye contact. He looked up from his tray slowly.
She stood there shuddering, crying….not sobbing – weeping.
The words eeked out of her mouth–“I’m sorry.” — “You remind me of the men who came to the house. They were bald. Shaved like yours. I’m getting help and the bishop supports it.”
For a moment there’s silence. Everyone at the table is processing what was just said.
For a third time the young man does not know what to say to this woman.
“I’m-glad that you are getting help. — I hope it–helps.”
A snicker from the end of the table. ‘Shut up’
“Alright, thank you. You and your friends have a lovely day.” The woman says, offering her hand for a shake.
Shaking it, he wished her well and watched as she walked out the door. Hair and dress in meticulous order.
The group finished their meal and walked outside to the car. Leaning against the bumper, cigarettes are lit and everyone recounts the morning’s events. Each has a different recollection of the timeline and the order of things. – Everyone agrees it’s crazy. Sane people don’t accost other people with pastries.
— A scream from across the parking lot. —
Lady purple is shouting profanities at the morning sun. She looks at the group and scoffs, heading toward the gas station at the far end of the parking lot. She walked straight, then deviated. Her focus is drawn to a large planter box in the middle of the asphalt. The boxes are made of railroad ties. They’re big with a thirty-foot-tall street light sticking straight up out of it. There are 5 of them between her and the fuel pumps. Determined, she zig zags a path through all of them. Walking the expanse of the parking lot, passing around planter box along the way as if she’s an Olympic skier weaving thru gates. At the gas station she stood straight – eyeballing her target – a fuel pump.
In mocking silence, the hunk of metal just sat there – eyeballing her right back.
That infuriated the lady. With a quick swipe the pump handle is out of it’s holster and flung onto the pavement with the hose preventing any further release. A helpless target for insult and torment.
“HEY asshole! Are you makin’ fun of me?!” She pressed the inanimate machine.
The thing had it coming, standing there straight and smug. Eyeballing her like that.
Slapping at the glass on it’s face with all her might, the woman shouts, “I’ll KILL you, you bastard!” then stormed off.
“She’s heading somewhere in a hurry.” jokes one of the friends.
“Yea, probably to tell the bishop about me.”
…the whole car ride home everyone called him ‘sugar pockets’.