A donut salesman knocked on my apartment door yesterday.
He introduced himself as Ralph The Donut Salesman.
“How’d you get in here?” I asked.
“I paid the doorman off with a donut,” replied Ralph.
“We don’t have a doorman.”
“Dammit,” Ralph muttered. His face told me he realized he probably hadn’t needed to part with any of his precious inventory for the man at the front door to let him in.
I considered closing my door on the strange man in front of me. But he seemed far more fascinating than the emails I needed to reply to for my work-at-home job.
“How many donuts can I get for three dollars?” I asked, pulling a few ones out of my gym shorts pocket.
The man beamed. “You can have the whole box for three dollars!”
“How many donuts is that?”
“I don’t know exactly.”
The obvious thing to do would’ve been to ask him to open the box. But the fact that he hadn’t already offered to open it made me uneasy.
The even more obvious thing to do would’ve been to politely thank the man and close the door in his face.
“I’ll take it,” I replied, handing the man my three dollars.
Ralph The Donut Salesman gave me a huge grin and thanked me profusely as he handed over the box. He backed away slowly and then dashed down the stairs.
As I opened the box, I counted nine donuts. There was a notecard resting atop the sprinkled donut in the middle.
Thank you for purchasing this box of donuts. My ex-girlfriend owns a bakery and she made these herself. I found out this morning that she cheated on me with a man I do not know named Julian. My ex-girlfriend stole something precious from me and gave it to someone else. In my anger and disappointment, I wanted to do the same to her. You have facilitated this small token of revenge. You are my Julian. And I thank you for that.
Ralph The Donut Salesman was clearly suffering. And I was happy to be the only customer he would ever have.