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The Doughnut Shop

 

“OK, well I’m writing this first line down now so I don’t start from a blank page. I guess all stories have to start somewhere though, and a blank page has so much information on it already just waiting to be written. Even God started from nothing before He flipped the light switch on so what makes me believe I’m any better? I’m not better than God, never claimed to be…Hell, I’m not even a very good writer, as I’ve been told by a few people, but sometimes there are events that simply must be alliterated in some way. I don’t know that many people so the spoken word won’t get very far, but the written word travels so much farther then the spoken word and with the ease of use that the internet offers, more people can read it if they choose, that is of course, when I finally get to sending this out. Well I guess I should stop stalling and start telling my story now before the events fade from memory forever so…my name is Jonathan, and I met God today in a doughnut shop.

 

OK, so I’ll try to start from the very beginning of my day until I saw him, yes him. God is a man. I woke up from a late night of playing video games and went to take a shower. I had just a sliver of soap, but just enough to bathe with and the water was ice cold. See, I live in an apartment over on the West Side, you know that area cabs don’t travel after dark. Anyway, the water system in the building isn’t that good so if anyone in the building flushes or is also taking a shower, the last one get’s the ice water. This morning it was me that got the arctic blast. I’ve gotten used to it though; the goose bumps in the morning are actually quite refreshing and with the air conditioning out the apartment does get pretty warm. I stepped out of the shower and wouldn’t you know it, no towel. I have to brush my teeth and comb my hair starkers! That wouldn’t be so bad, but my cat pulled down all the blinds so the neighbors got a nice view of me standing there air drying. I went to make some cereal for breakfast and think to myself how funny it would be to see a full grown man eating a bowl of cereal in his birthday suit. Then I shuddered because I pictured it. Now you just shuddered because you just pictured it too. Let me describe myself a little for you so you can kind of picture me a little. Not to picture me naked unless you really want to, and if you want to, I’m single! I’m 27 weighing in at about a hundred and forty pounds, fairly toned muscle with a tiny bit of baby fat hanging around. I have long black hair just below the shoulder that gets tangled up too often no matter what I do. I envy women in that regard, they have it so easy, I get the oddest looks when I buy several hair products from the store and I dare not go to a salon. I walk in a salon and I swear I hear all the stylists eyes go KA-CHING because they know I can’t take care of my own hair. I have no facial hair but a long broad face. I’m fairly tall, right at about six feet. That’s me…all naked and eating cereal.

 

I finally dry off enough to get dressed; I wear yesterday’s jeans, some clean underwear, an old Slayer T-Shirt and sandals without socks. Don’t you hate it when people walk around wearing sandals with socks? It looks so silly, I always just want to beat them about the head and shoulders with a Halibut, why a Halibut? Because it’s silly, that’s why, just like wearing socks with sandals. I walk outside my front door into the dark and gloomy hallway…it’s not really dark and not all that gloomy, it’s actually painted white with flowers running across the top, but every story seems to have a dark and gloomy hallway in so I figured it would be my apartment hallway…my story, my rules! So I walked outside and what’s the first thing that happens? A truck drives by and splashes me all down my front with street smudge. Street Smudge is that black residue that for some reason gathers in the puddles after an evening rain just so an unknowing passerby can get splashed with it just after they take a shower, Murphy hates me, and I just know he does. At least I wasn’t wearing socks. I grab a nearby hose from my friend, the florist on the corner and wash the smudge out of my hair and off my face. They were dirty jeans anyway so who cares right? I walk to the news stand and see that there’s apparently a new hero in town that’s saving people and doing their thing. Oh! I forgot to mention, I live in Paragon City, a City of Heroes. They are all over the place but you know something funny? I have never seen one personally. Like I said, an entire city chocked full of Super Heroes in bright fancy threads and capes and I have never seen a single one. Lived here all my life and you’d think I would see them flying by or running really fast by me with a gust of wind that knocks me over or…what other ways do heroes get around? Surely they don’t just hitch a ride on a bus or catch a train on the Blue Line or something? I can see a train operator walking by now “tickets please, sir, I’m afraid you’ll have to move to the baggage compartment your ego just won’t fit in the passenger car.”

 

I do odd jobs around town like sweeping the florists shop, fixing plumbing where or when I can, delivering papers locally and delivering people’s lunches as well as other things. It’s not a real job, but people will pay you well to do things that they don’t want to do and it’s a helpful service I offer. Like there was one time someone wanted me to change their cat’s litter box every Sunday…paid me fifty bucks a week to do it. They never knew I changed their litter to the clumping stuff that all I had to do was scoop out the crap and toss it out! It’s easy money; people will pay you anything for anything. Well after the news stand I went to the office building down the street to take some lunch orders, it’s not a big office, only about thirty workers so they never have time to go out and get lunch. I do that for them and they just pay me tips. Make good money there too. Often they give me ten bucks and say keep the change for a burger combo…dollar menu for the win! I took the orders and some money and went to get my box I keep in a corner of the stairwell to carry the food back in. Then I was off to the food mall about a block away; it’s a place that basically has every nation’s food right there from French Fries to Sushi. On the way to the mall I got clipped by a bicycle currier…man did that smart, bugger nearly ran me over. Made me feel better when he looked back at me to flip me off and hit that fire hydrant though, flipped head over handlebars, it was a laugh riot. After the funny little man on a bicycle I got dive bombed by a Blue Jay protecting his nest as I passed the mall entrance. I guess he could have been a she, couldn’t tell, it wasn’t wearing a dress and it’s impolite to ask. After getting past the aerial attack I could finally place the orders and get the food back to the office. I had to go to five different countries to get all the orders, Greece, China, Japan, Germany and of course, America. Only fifteen people were buying lunch so it was easy to fit them all in my box. I carry the orders back but this time I walk out the side door to avoid the Blue Baron outside. As I leave I almost walk right into an open manhole cover. The worker was just poking his head up as I passed and I almost kicked him in the face. The guy shouted a few choice words at me and I thanked him and smiled as he called me some animal names, you know…starts with an A and rhymes with a fish? I tossed him a French fry to quiet him down, it worked on dogs so why not him. And he stopped yelling at me! Take note, angry people quiet down when you throw French fries at them. The folks at the office were happy as usual when they see me bounce in the door with all their orders right as always. I have never gotten a single order wrong because I’m fairly meticulous when it comes to others. As I bounce away I know my hair is flying wildly from the earlier hose washing and I just smile.

 

I finally come to the point that has kept you reading. You want to know about God. Well don’t we all want to know? I mean, isn’t that the real mystery of life? OK, so I walk down the street heading back to the apartment and get hungry myself. So I figure I’ll run into the new doughnut shop that had just opened up across town. I grabbed a cab and asked the driver to take me to the Fault to the new shop. The driver proceeded to tell me of the days when he couldn’t drive to Faultline and he would see guards posted at the entrance to ensure normal people didn’t enter the disaster area. All that had started to change as the City has been working to reclaim lost areas and the villains get pushed back. I had yet to see the new buildings and such, but I was anxious to see what they were doing. I had heard how good the doughnuts were in this particular place and I was assured by the driver that the trip was well worth it. He also told me how many heroes frequented the area since the reclamation project began. Perhaps I would finally get to see my first super hero after all.  The driver pulls alongside the store and I get out and happily pay him for the drive, there were several Paragon Police Department officers outside the shop munching on doughnuts and drinking coffee. I can’t help but giggle as I walk in seeing all the police. That’s such an old joke who couldn’t laugh at it. On top of the shop is a giant inflatable doughnut. It reminded me of a nightmare I once had when I was being chased by a giant pink icing covered doughnut with sprinkles. It was chasing after me trying to eat me because I didn’t like sprinkles and the doughnut had taken personal offense to my dislike of its sprinkles. I still get the willies when I see Christmas cookies covered in sprinkles.

 

When I walked into the shop there were several people at the counter. Everyone was smiling and happy, it was almost eerily cheerful. Suddenly I heard a loud voice behind me, it was a voice like trumpets blast with such a huge chest his diaphragm and lungs must have also been gigantic, so his voice was intense. The voice was ordering a dozen cream filled doughnuts…with sprinkles. I turned around and before me stood the largest, most beautiful man I had ever seen. He had long flowing platinum blonde hair, high cheek bones, a very strong looking chin, perfect flawless skin and a chiseled body like something straight from Greece!  As I turned around my nose was nearly in his abdomen and he was very ripped from what I could tell. He was wearing a spandex suit of white with red brief tights and red boots and gauntlets with a long red cape. He was my first hero and if there was a more perfect human being, I couldn’t imagine it. I was awestruck; I simply looked up at him with my mouth gaping open and my eyes the size of saucers. He looked down at me with that look of, oh god not another fan boi.

 

As he took his box of doughnuts, free of charge of course, he began to exit the store. I ran after him and just before he got to the door I grabbed at his cape to get his attention. He spun quickly around and looked down at me. With an air of kindness he said with that trumpeting voice that echoed in my head as he spoke, “don’t ever touch the cape chimp.” He spoke to me…this huge majestic man actually spoke to me! Again I couldn’t talk but I was able to mumble to him. He leaned in to try and figure out what I was saying. I was trying to ask him what his name was and somehow he was able to understand me when even I couldn’t understand what I was saying, “My name is God boy, now go back and play in your sandbox, I have real work to do.” With that he spun around slapping my face with his cape and jumped out the door and flew into the air. I looked down in my hands unbelieving of what I had just seen and there in my hands were his box of doughnuts still warm from the oven. I stepped out of the shop and looking to the sky I held up this Mana from God and called out his name. Shouting at the top of my lungs so that he would hear me, but then the police that were standing around began to gather. I continued my plea to the heavens to take this sugary goodness from my hands because I was unworthy to eat them on my own but God did not answer. It was not long before the people in the shop were standing behind me, some holding back tears and others letting out boisterous laughter, some even looked fearful. The police gathered tried to grab the doughnuts from me to calm me down but I resisted. I knew God would be angry with me if I allowed them to take what was rightfully his from me, so I resisted their advances to remove the small pink and white box of gooey goodness from my clutches. I was able to stave off the attack of the infidels for a good ten minutes before the sheer numbers overwhelmed me and I was defeated. God had forsaken me as I watched in horror as the little box was trampled by large booted feet.

 

Now presently I am writing this series of events from a local hotel. This particular hotel has bars on the windows and has fairly small rooms with no privacy. It’s also referred to by some as prison. There really isn’t much else to do here so it seemed like a good idea to write at the time. They allow me to have paper and a pencil but I must have a guard sharpen my pencil for me so it doesn’t get to too fine a point. You see it wasn’t my fault that God came to that doughnut shop and left his box with me, all I really wanted to do was give him back what was his. While I’ve been here I have learned a few things. The vile people that live with me never stop droning on about which hero defeated them or which hero’s they had bested in the past. They feed me well and have provided me with these colorful orange jumpsuits and the coolest little orange and white sandals, but they also make me wear socks. Apparently from what I’m told I severely injured one of the officers in the scuffle but can you really blame me? He was trying to claim God’s box of pastries and that wasn’t right, there was a store full of pastries he could have all his own. I overheard one of the goon’s two cells down from me last night talking about a hero that resembled God that stopped him from robbing a bank the same day I saw God at the doughnut shop. That explains why he had not heard my call, he was busy defeating villainy. One of the officers tossed a newspaper in my cell this morning saying he finally believes that I actually met God as he’s laughing down the block toward their break room. The headline read “GREGORIAN ONSLAUGHT DEFENDER SAVES THE DAY AGAIN.” The picture attached to the headline was certainly the same person I had seen, white costume, red cape, tights and boots, same person without a doubt.

 

Well since it wasn’t God I had met but actually this G.O.D. person I guess looking back at what transpired seems fairly amiss on my part. I believed what a so called “super hero” said to me so I guess that would mean the joke is on me. Nothing I could have done would have prepared me for this kind of let down. However I will not allow it to get me too far down, I will grow as a person from this. I will stand up, take life by the horns and…”

 

That’s where this journal ended. J wrote no more words from this day forward, he was killed in an explosion set by the villains near his cell during an escape. Criminals will stop at nothing to escape their fate and they are always ready to run when the chance at freedom arises and damn those in their way. J was not a criminal; he should not have been in that place. He was unprepared when the charges were set. His papers were found scattered across what was left of his cell floor. I found them while clearing the debris looking for blast survivors. After reading his words I felt I would hand his story around so people would learn that a Hero is nothing more then a person and they have good days and bad days alike, just like you. It’s too bad J met me on a bad day. I heard gunshots just as he had stopped me and knew I did not have the time to eat my doughnuts or talk to some kid and assumed he would be better off with the box then I. I wish I had been more kind to him that day knowing now that I was the first hero he had ever met. I brushed him off and talked down to him like he was beneath me and sadly it seems he died with that being his image of a hero. It’s true that we go through our lives affecting people and we have no idea how that person we bumped into on the train three years ago may have been affected by not saying “I am sorry and I should have been looking where I were going.” That person may have been the disgruntled office worker that becomes a crazed killer that decided after that last bump by a rude person that he would kill everyone on the next commuter train during rush hour because you were that proverbial last straw.

 

I view my job very differently now, I stand a little taller and walk with a little more pride in my step since reading his words. I did a little looking into J through the justice records and talking to people that knew him. He really was loved by so many people. I’m told any stress he had or even if he was ever sad or angry, no one that knew him could ever see anything but happiness in his step or on his face. He seemed to bounce almost everywhere he went and brought a smile to peoples faces by just showing up. He’s the kind of role model people should have, not me, not Super Heroes but people that live every day of their lives to serve and do the meaningful things in life. People like J, those people that actually take a moment out of their lives to be kind and say thank you are a rare breed indeed. I hope someone that reads this will say thank you to the next store clerk that rings up their purchase, or to that fast food person that you put your faith in with your food but don’t feel them important enough to treat them to an ounce of kindness by calling them sir or ma’am. Such a little thing it is to go to a doughnut store and purchase breakfast, such a big thing to be rude to a total stranger because he tugged on your cape to simply touch you. I am the Defender, and I bow to J’s memory.








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