Donut Holes and Fountains– Find the connection.
I grew up inside of a shoe. I know this may sound like the premise for a fairytale– but rest assured. This particular shoe had electricity, running water, a cockroach problem, and most importantly a walk up window from which we served donuts and coffee to hungry patrons.
“My little donut-boy, it’s time to wake up.” My mother would whisper into my ear early every morning. She would hand me my toothbrush and say “Smile, I hear today is your lucky day.”
The methodical churning of butter, sugar, flour and sometimes the stray cockroach—it wasn’t exactly what I would consider a lucky day nor was it much of a memorable childhood at that. But it wasn’t that bad, I can think of worse things– like working at Starbucks.
It was an accident really, this idea, “The Donut Hole.” I was in love with a girl. I assure you, it was really quite tragic. She was red haired, blue eyed, and was always yelling on about something. She would come in singing opera, and leave singing The Star Spangled Banner. But while she was in my store, she always sang the same song.
She came to buy a jelly donut—cherry, every morning. I would give her the one I made last– the freshest one. And she sang:
“I am the daughter of a watch maker and my mother is a whore
I can set your time-piece right, I can set men’s souls afire. I can dance and keep my time; I can make any man… mine.
I can build you a fine clock, and spit and cuss and fuss, but I’ll never be on time– not for you, and not for us.
I am the daughter of a watch maker and my mother is a whore,
You can catch me in the evening, and I’ll kiss you all night long. But when the sun starts shining, your watch and I… are gone.”
She was way too young to be singing about any of that, I was certainly too young to be hearing it– but she was a wonder. From the minute she walked in my heart would race, when she sang her song my mind would throb, and when she left my soul would cry. For as much as I didn’t understand of her I knew that I could love her. And I wanted to show her.
I used the finest flour, the sweetest sugar, and the richest butter. I mixed until my hands were sore– and then I mixed some more. With precision I rolled the dough into a loop small enough to fit her dainty hands, and stuck it in the fryer. I added diamonds of glaze, and precious stones made of sprinkles. It was perfect.
When she arrived I got on my hands and knees on the dirty kitchen floor, while the cockroaches scattered, I looked her in the eyes, and bumbled out my marriage proposal:
“I don’t know your name, but I know your song. But let me keep the time for you and let me find your mom a job. Singing girl, spend the mornings with me by the fryer, and I’ll spend the evening in your arms.”
To which she put her hands on her hips and said resolutely, “Hell no!”
“Why!??!??” I pleaded– and she said, “Donut boy, my darling, I could never marry you. Because you stink of donut grease, and your smile is too thin.”
So I told her she smelled bad too (which was a lie, she smelled like lavender soap.) To which she smiled and broke into her stupid song, about her whoreish mother and her stupid dad– who probably crafts a watch that can only keep track of 15 hours in a day.
As she walked out smug and with her usual jelly donut I yelled to her: “Never again will a ring be made from the finest dough, my love is far too sacred!” She turned to me, rolled her eyes, and walked off.
With the batter that had been filled with love I sculpted little balls of sugary hate. I threw them into the fryer and watched them sizzle and pop– never again would a girl break my heart.
And then, while I watched the pastry chunks of my heart bubble and boil… A stuffy business man with nice shoes and a smile that probably sold used cars at one point in time or another– he wanted half a donut. “You’re a stingy idiot!” I said. But he insisted, and demanded, and argued. So I gave him some donut balls. And the rest…
But that girl… with eyes like the sea and hair like the sun– I’ll never forget her, and her stupid song.