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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Yum Bakery, San Francisco at 2:37am


"NEXSHT!  NEXSHT IN LINE!"

With a firm, controlling hand, the Chinese donut lady commands the mass of wasted, after hour revelers.  In twos and threes they stumble forward for donuts and coffee.  Fried, sugary delights to soak up excess booze and put drug fractured minds back on track.  Hot coffee to animate the bones of the drunk and drugged.  On a cold, black winter’s night by the bay, there is nothing better to rekindle the soul than donuts fresh from the fryer with a cup hot coffee.

I can watch the Chinese donut lady all night. She is my role model.  I aspire to be as efficient in my employment when I'm all grown up.  They should make her a required class at my university.  You can tell from her harsh, unwavering glare that the Chinese donut lady hates us all.  We are beneath her dignity, but she is a professional.  You never wait more than a few minutes for food.  If you're too wasted to talk, you can groan degenerately and point at what you want.  She'll even count your money if you’ve travelled way past the point of math.  

Kym lowers the bag of ice she got from the Chinese donut lady and places a cigarette between her glossy, lollipop-purple lips.  Wow, her cheek is swollen.  Poor thing.  There is probably a life lesson in all of this.  Like never throw a pint glass at security.  I learned that ghetto bouncers who are puffed up on steroids do not live by the 'No hitting girls!' rule.  Luckily Kym fell backwards just as the ape punched her because he was big.  Like Sasquatch smashing cheek bones big.  

Kym winks at me through purple eyeliner and pouts her candy lips as I reach over and light her cigarette.  The pointer finger on my hand is grotesquely swollen from sucker-punching the bouncer.  Another lesson.  Never strike a neanderthal on his long, flat shallow braincase.  Next time I'm sucker-punching a neanderthal, I’ll aim for it's throat.  Jason was upset at Kym as we ran away but appears to have forgotten.  Let bygones be bygones.  But this is the third club we have had to flee since Kym has turned 21.  Probably just a coincidence...Melo shakes his head at us as he gets up to check on Dev who went to the bathroom to puke. They were on their way to meet us when we ran past them yelling "Cops!"

"NEXSHT!  NEXSHT IN LINE!"

Yum Bakery, San Francisco at 2:37am.

Melo comes back supporting Dev who looks a little pale but smiles.  Kym slides a chocolate Devil's Food Cake donut with rainbow sprinkles towards her which she starts nibbling.  Dev takes out her yellow Walkman from her Guatemalan knit bag and hands Kym an earbud.  They sit there listening to music and smoking cigarettes.  Kym listens with her right ear, Dev with her left.

"Imagine the thoughts being transferred between their brainwaves" smirks Jason.  

"Moths..." breathes Kym.

"Hummingbirds!" smiles Dev as she widens her eyes.

"Hey.  Do you think the cops are looking for you guys?" asks Melo.

Fair question.  I know Melo has drugs on him because he was meeting Jason to sell some.  Jason might have a warrant or two.  But I don’t.  So I shrug and go back to my chocolate old fashioned donut.  

"No way they’d look here!" says Jason as the cafe door chimes: BingBONG!

"Babe" says Kym quietly looking down at her half eaten blueberry jelly donut.  "Cops."

Two plainclothes walk in.  A woman and a man.  The woman is in charge.  Her butt-chin face swivels around the cafe crowd suspiciously.  Through her tiny, wire-rimmed, smart-guy eyeglasses she scrutinizes us.  Beneath her asexual haircut, is a short, bullish, vicious looking creature in a wrinkled suit.  The young Mexican cop that trails her looks bored and unhappy.  

"Jeez" smiles Jason sipping his coffee, "don't they even try to look undercover anymore?  Like these two would ever hang out in public.  Kym!  Doesn't that bitch look like Elton John in a cheap suit?"

"BWA-HA-HAH!" laughs Dev suddenly coming alive.  "ELTON JOHN!  CHEAP FUCKING SUIT!"

Kym covers her face, Melo hugs Dev close to muffle her laughter and Jason and I stare at the cop.  So do other customers who start snickering.  Maybe it's the glasses or the haircut but when Dev yelled 'Elton John!', the lady cop morphs into Elton John.  

"Shut up Devika!" giggles Kym into her coffee.

The whole scene is getting sloppy.  Drunks in line start wandering around to check out the cop and the process is interrupted.  But, like a pro, the donut lady brings the crowd back under her control with her LOUD, barking voice.

"NEXSHT!  NEXSHT IN LINE!"

The cops walk towards the counter.  Kym turns to me, wraps her arms around my neck and kisses me deeply.  The world fades. I forget about the Now. I let her beauty and the feeling of her lips melt away reality. Nothing but You sings my brain...and Kym smiles as she pulls away and slides out of the booth. I stare at her ass as she walks off to the bathroom. Goddamn. The younger cop watches her ass walk away too but he does so professionally. He stops halfway down the aisle and plants himself defensively to keep an eye on his partner's back while the Elton John cop casually strolls to the front of the line.

"Boo!  Cheater!", mumbles a drunk.  

Another one grumbles, "Cutter!"

The angry Chinese donut lady could care less about cops.  She ignores the cop and serves the drunks wobbling around at the counter.  Kym comes back from the restroom and I look at her.  Distant eyes, a zombie strut and she looks like she has wandered away from reality. She slides in next to Dev, picks up the earbud, shoves it in her ear. Before I can comment, the Chinese donut lady screams, "NEXSHT!  NEXSHT IN LINE!"

She bags two chocolate donuts and a cinnamon twist for an obese guy in an Erasure t-shirt. He farts loudly as the Chinese donut lady hands him a large coffee.  She takes his cash, gives him change. He does not tip or apologize for farting.

And she moves on.

"NEXSHT!  NEXSHT IN LINE!"

"Did that fat guy just fart?" asks a mesmerized Jason as the fat guy walks past us. He glares at us but keeps moving.

The whole donut show is bizarre from our booth.  Dev laughs maniacally, Kym looks bored, Jason is staring deeply into his lighter flame and I’m trying to figure out what they are listening to on Dev’s Walkman.  It's bouncy and something from maybe 5th grade...Duran Duran?  Poor Melo is trying to look nonchalant but cops make him nervous.  Plus we are wasted.  Dev is on a hallucinating amount of MDMA and ranting.  Kym was coked out of her skull and belligerently drunk at the club. But now she is quiet...Suspiciously quiet.  Jason and I ate LSD gummybears.  We ponder the Universe while remaining useless and lame.  And Melo is sober.  Poor bastard.  Hanging out with us is like taking a bunch of cats out on yarn leashes and trying to cross a street full of dancing mice that shoot laser beams from their eyes.

"You see this is Female caucasian tonight?  Early 20's, brunette, glasses?" interrupts the Elton John cop to the Chinese donut lady.  

The Chinese donut lady gets pissed when anyone fucks with the donut flow and stares back defiantly for a moment, shakes her head and turns back to her customers.  BingBONG!  More drunks amble inside like foraging bears attracted to the delicious scent of fresh donuts.

"NEXSHT!  NEXSHT IN LINE!"

"Hey!" yells Dev to the cop.  "I know you!"

To our horror, Dev gets up and starts walking towards the lady cop.  She appears to be in a trance as she lurches forward.  Guided by her unnaturally large MDMA pupils she approaches The Law.

"What the fuck?" whispers Kym in a hushed tone.

I look at Kym and see powder around her nostril.  I reach in my pocket and baggie of China white is gone.  Kym pick-pocketed me when we kissed.  Amazing.

"Wipe your nose dear" I whisper back.

Kym smiles at me dreamily, wipes her nose, snorts and then goes back to watching Dev TV.

"Ms. Liora.  Nice to see you again" says Elton John cop.

"Maddy!"

"It's Officer Elizabeth Madison.  Are you interrupting me because you know this person?" asks the cop showing the flyer to Dev.  

Dev doesn't even look at it.

"Nope!  I have a question!"

"Ok..."

"You're like, old already...So what feels better?  Being happy in love or the first time you ever fell in love?"

The younger cop shakes his head and walks off.  Just being in the donut shop makes him self-conscious.  He doesn't workout as hard as he does to have drunks and junkies whisper cop-donut jokes behind his back.  

Officer Madison looks at Dev for a moment and then she pinches the bridge of her nose to stave off the migraine she gets from working graveyard shifts in the Tenderloin.  

"What?” questions Officer Madison.  “You mean like the very first time you ever fell in love?"

"Yeah!"

"Falling in love" sighs Elton John cop.  "Nothing like it."

"I feel the same way too!  Like it's raining stars and flowers and my heart is ticklish!" laughs Dev like a loon.

Elton John cop smiles patiently at Dev.  This is a lady with a gun.  Then she rolls up the flyer and walks out.  As the cops leave, Kym nods out.  I watch her do a slow motion face-plant into the table.  The array of silver bracelets she always wears chimes and clatters as she knocks Jason's coffee over.  He stares at his lap in disbelief.

“Oh putain de merde !” he grumbles.

“What?” asks Melo.

“Casse toi!” groans Kym from the table.

From her mop of blue hair I spy the Walkman earbud fell out.  I can hear the song clearly and as the vocals begin.  I stand up and shout, ”Her name is Rio, she don't need to understand!”

“Fuck that was close” says Melo as Dev sits back down grinning like an insane person.

Then Dev starts to sing, “Oh Rio, Rio hear them shout across the land!”

"I feel like a hamburger" says Jason. "Not hungry. But like I AM a hamburger."

Melo stands up and looks at me. "Pick her up dude. Let's get out of here."

"NEXSHT!  NEXSHT IN LINE!"