A Storyby Sherman Alexie
“Are you a doughnut man?” the owner asked me.
I was surprised by the question. By how serious it was. By how serious the owner seemed to be. I was interviewing for a job at a doughnut shop, so I knew I’d be asked about my work experience with doughnuts—with food prep and service in general. But I had prepared for simpler questions. For a week before the job interview, I’d walked small circles around my small room in the halfway house and practiced.
—Chocolate cream is my favorite.
—Usually with coffee, but good with milk too. But never with soda. Don’t understand people who think Pepsi or Coke is good with doughnuts.
—Never made doughnuts before, but I grew up baking and selling bread and cookies with my mom. That’s how she made extra money to buy us school clothes and supplies and stuff like that.
—I was line cook at IHOP for two years. At Denny’s for about six months before that. Made hamburgers at the Tribal Café on my reservation when I was a kid.
—Not allergic to anything, so I can eat, or make, any kind of doughnut.
—I didn’t cook when I was in prison. I washed dishes. My sentence was for only eighteen months. They gave cooking jobs to guys doing serious time. They wanted continuity in the kitchen.