June 13, 2007

Donuts with Baby and Winky

By Paul McGuire © 2007

Winky looked in the mirror for thirty-seconds longer than he should have. He noticed the pink hue that invaded his eyeballs. Instead of eggshell white, pink and red splotches dotted his eyes.

"How long have I've been up? Tuesday. Today's Tuesday. Right?" he muttered to himself.

He leaned in closer to get a better inspection of his Dalmatian-spotted eyes and screamed, "Baby! What day is it?"

She couldn't hear him with the water running in the bathroom. Winky forgot. He looked down at the dried blood as Jackson Pollock type splashes dotted the porcelain sink. He scrubbed the sink for two minutes until most of the blood was gone. He slid his hands underneath the faucet and cupped the water up to his face. He repeated the process three times before he shut off the water and walked out of the bathroom.

A real estate infomercial ran on the TV with the sound on mute while Iggy Pop's Zombie Birdhouse played for the forty-fifth time in a row. Baby's CD player (that she stole from somewhere but wouldn't tell Winky where she got it) had broken and they couldn't figure out how to open up the disc tray. They were forced to listen to crappy morning radio or Zombie Birdhouse.

A body slumped on the couch and another one lay motionless near the coffee table. Both of Baby's work friends from McDonalds were passed out after two straight days of partying. Once they ran out of cocaine five hours into their binge, they popped Winky's expired Vicodin and drank a jug of cheap wine. When that cheap buzz wore off, one of Baby's friends resorted to drinking cough medicine. The half-Goth half-punk hybrid suburban malcontent who was seven weeks pregnant locked herself in the bathroom and tried to slit one of her wrists, except she was so wasted that she cut her forearm instead. That was ten hours earlier.

Baby scrambled around furiously looking for a cigarette.

"What the hell are you doing?"

"I'm outta smokes," she said.

Baby sat on the edge of the coffee table and poured out an ashtray that overflowed with butts. She picked out three or four and lit one up. She took three drags and put it out before she lit up another used one. Then another.

"So fuckin' white trash of you. Why don't you go down to the B&P and buy some?" snapped Winky.

"Cause we don't have any money. Assface!" she screamed and flicked one of the half-lit butts towards Winky. "My stupid ass boyfriend was the only person in the entire city of Seattle to give the biggest loser on the planet his car and all of our money so he can get us some coke so we can make some money selling it to those meathead rich college jocks down the street. But we can't make any money and we can't get high because you're so fuckin' stooooopid that you let the dumbest loser on the planet pull a fast one over you. Fuck you! Go get our money and car back!"

After two small time coke deals, Baby thought she was the head of the International Cocaine Conglomerate. At best, she was an ambitious junkie who shoved more of the product up her nose than she sold. Even though Winky had figured out the exact amount they needed to sell to turn a nifty profit, Baby managed to fuck things up. She often snorted all of their inventory before they had a chance to sell it. Or she decided to cut the coke three or four more times as the product got so diluted that it wasn't worth the price that Winky asked for it. She wasn't helping out at all.

Winky knew he never should have trusted Crackhead Stu but the deal was too good to pass up. The only catch was that he had to lend Crackhead Stu his car and give him the money up front. That was on Sunday afternoon, two days earlier. Crackhead Stu assured him that he'd be home before the Sunday night football game started. That came and went. As did Monday night football. Winky was pissed and Baby was simply out of control as she rummaged through her friend's purse for any money or cigarettes. She found $1.25 and a couple of diet pills. She popped both pills and lit up another used cigarette butt.

"So fuckin' pathetic," said Winky.

"If you had any balls, you'd go find Crackhead Stu and get our car and money back."

"Impossible," sighed Winky.

He knew better. By that point, Crackhead Stu had sold his car and used all of his money to buy a couple of grams of China White from the Vietnamese kid who lived above the donut shop across the street from the Neptune Theater. Crackhead Stu already owed Thoi two grand in previous narcotic purchases. Crackhead Stu worked off his debt by driving his father's delivery truck for him after picking up cargo outside of Oroville near the Canadian border. Winky knew that if he wanted to find his car, he'd have to confront Thoi.

A subtle rain fell as Winky briskly walked over to the donut shop. By the time he arrived five minutes later, his hat was soaked and he shook it twice to get the excess water off. The donut shop was empty like always. Winky had long suspected that it was a front for the Vietnamese mafia that ran some sort of human smuggling ring. He accidentally discovered their dark secret because one of Thoi's uncles was drunk one night and told him about the brothel he ran near the navy base out in Bremerton.

The donut shop was a front to launder all of the money Thoi's uncle made from being a pimp. The girls owed him $20,000 each for smuggling them through Canada into the United States. They had to work as prostitutes for around two years before they paid off their debts. Sometimes Thoi's uncle tacked on ridiculous surcharges like rent for them to stay in his house or to use the bathroom or for rides to and from the brothel. Sometimes the girls would run away and Thoi would hunt them down and give them the pistol whipping of their lives before putting them back to work.

Thoi never spoke about his uncle or why no one ever bought the donuts in his family's empty donut shop. A quiet guy in his early 20s, Thoi had extremely short hair and several tattoos that encircled his biceps and wrists. He always wore a black Oakland Raiders hat because he thought it made him look tough. Thoi was 95 pounds at the most and got all of his confidence from the M1911A1 pistol that he constantly kept in his waistband.

"What do you want?" asked Thoi as Winky dripped all over the floor.

"I want a donut."

"Fuck you, Winky. No one ever wants just a donut."

"I do. That chocolate sprinkled one over there. And a coffee," as he pointed. "Oh and I'd like my fuckin' car back."

Paul McGuire is a writer from New York City.

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