Patricia’s Donut Shoppe

“I’ll tell you what, that Obama…he’s not from this country and the media don’t want to report it. They just gave him the elections so that way he can come in and take everything from us. He’s already trying to take our guns so he can sell them to the Arabs in the Middle East. And he leaves our border unsecure so that way one day all those Mexicans can come in and vote Democrat! I even heard Obama is looking to change the Constitution so he can run for a third term! It was good enough for Washington but it’s not good enough for him! Which is no surprise because he’s not from this country and the media won’t report it!” Victor slammed his hand down to punctuate the last truth in his series of truths. His breath was labored and he looked around to see if the unwashed masses had heard his sermon. With a sigh he quietly muttered to himself,

“They ignored John the Baptist, too.”

The residents inside Patricia’s Donut Shoppe continued living their rainy Thursday afternoon. Melissa and Paige sat at the table closest to the door, alternating between math homework and gossiping about if Ricky was cheating on Ariana with Taylor. Paul sat on the other side of the room against the wall, chewing on his nails as he debated over whether to use the word, “splendid” or “superb” on the third page of his novel The Owl of the Night (working title). Amy stood behind the counter, watching Paul choose his words carefully and ignored Mrs. Pendleton fritter between ordering the apple crumb or a plain donut, a choice she grappled with every single day. The citizens of Patricia’s Donut Shoppe moved across their surroundings the way the stars moved across the celestial sky, slow and reliable.

Most of all, Victor.

Victor had been coming to Patricia’s Donut Shoppe since it was Ruby’s Coffee and More… the more often speculated upon and never solved well after it was sold to Patricia, who hadn’t actually owned Patricia’s Donuts for eleven years now. No matter the ownership or the culinary menu in question, Victor made his presence felt, second table against the wall. As the years passed, doom and gloom appeared, bogeymen that only Victor saw and everyone else ignored. He sat there every day, two newspapers opened in front of him, the crosswords ranging from entirely filled with some wrong answers to empty spaces with slightly wrong answers. He always had the same chewed on Bic pen in his left hand and to the untrained eye you would think Victor found the secret to immortal ink. His sideburns were bushy and gray, much like the hair under his old newsies style hat. A fashionista would not be in the wrong for describing his style as “disheveled.”

His face though was an entirely different story — always shaved. Although he may be lined with the canals of history, Victor thought it to be disrespectful to leave his house unshaven. A practice he had stuck to since 19 something or other.

Well before the characters inside Patricia’s Donuts were even a thought.

Victor would take his time revving his energy back to the boiling point. These days, he couldn’t carry on his political and social dissertations for longer than a couple of minutes. The words wouldn’t come together as quickly as before, nor could he maintain the ferocity needed when discussing such weighty topics. During these down periods he would sip his black coffee and munch on his powdered cruller and fiddle with the Bic pen that never left his left hand. His thoughts would fall out of focus until he gazed down and saw a trigger image or word and then he could feel the wind return to his sails.

The country was doomed!

“I’ll tell you one thing. My generation wouldn’t stand for any of this. The government with their satellites watching the computers and listening to our conversations. We fought the Russians up and down Asia to stop this from happening!” The last word pouring out of his mouth along with some pieces of cruller. “We didn’t lose Dave Nelson and Eric Cartwright and Barry Leary and all those other brave sons so the Government could send me a ticket for going through a red light in the mail!” Victor was gaining his steam and Paul turned the music on his Ipod up as he ruminated whether or not to delete the last half hour of work.

“And you’re going to tell me that I have to start learning their language? It was good enough to tell me to fly missions over Korea in English but not anymore? It’s a shame, a damn shame, that this country has gotten to this point! And you know why it’s gotten to this point? Obama! He wasn’t born here so he don’t care about us. And the media handed him the elections so that way he can come in and take everything from us. He’s got our guns! And our border is wide open so that they can come in and all vote Democrat! You watch, I bet you he runs for a third term. I bet you he does something to change the Constitution so he can become a King! Washington could have been king and he said no, but Obama is going to be king. And you know why? Because he’s not really an American and no one will say anything!” He slammed his hand against the table so hard the citizens of Patricia’s, despite a lifetime of hearing the words like a bad song, all stopped and stared at Victor, who sat there with tears filling those ancient canals.

As if his mental car backfired, Victor snapped to attention, wiped his face and looked down at the crossword puzzle. Eventually, Amy came over and told him they were closing up. As always she offered to drive him and as always he refused. His driving privilege long since taken away, Victor made the three-block walk back to his home. Rain or shine, hell or high water, Victor trudged along until he reached his front door. He could never get the key in the lock on the first or second try but eventually his front door opened. Victor shuffled into his dark living room to sit in his worn brown La-Z-boy chair. With a grunt he fell into his seat and turned his body to the right so he could see the picture in the frame. His wife Patricia smiled at him from behind the counter and across the boundaries of time. Victor smiled back. She was happy, healthy and blissfully unaware of what was to come.

Precisely the way he wanted to remember her.

Meanwhile, the grandfather clock ticked in the background, counting off the seconds until it was time to go back to go back home.

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