Things I will miss about Michigan

A few weeks ago, I was chillin’ at my usual coffee shop/writing spot (literally one spot: I superstitiously refuse to sit anywhere else, and when someone is already sitting there, I use my voodoo skillz to get them to leave) when a malnourished pale man began yelling to Lily, my favorite barista.
“Why don’t you carry donuts?”
“We just don’t.”
“If you get some, they should be from Dino’s. You ever been to that place? It rocks.”
“Where is it?”
“Out on Stadium. The best donuts ever.”
“Better than the ones at Washtenaw dairy?” I ventured.
“Way better. It’s amazing.”
“It’s called Dino’s? Who owns it?”
“I’m not sure. They’re probably Middle Eastern. Unfortunately.”
Yes, I had heard correctly. Now, I had two choices. One was to ignore the ugly anorexic bastard. The second was to come out and tell him I was Arab and that he was a fucking racist turd. The third was to do either 1 or 2 and also include a swift kick to his minuscule balls. I opted for 1.
Today, I was in Dino’s hood, so I decided to stop by. The place is straight out of 1976. The vinyl floors shine, the blackboards outline different donut and deli possibilities, and behind glass cases shines maple, raspberry, sugar-coated, cinnamon swirled, sexy donut goodness.
“Hey, girl. What you havin’?”
This guy was strong. His stubble was black and his eyes honey-shiny.
“I’ve been hearing about this place for a while.” From racists, but still.
“Yeah? Things about our bad attitude or our good food?”
“Good. That’s how we like it. What can I get you, girl?”
“A dozen donuts, assorted.”
“Smart girl.”
At this point his arms did this freakyfast dance move, whisking 14 donuts out of their cases and slotting them into perfect geometric shapes in a cardboard box.
“Where are you guys from?” I said.
His eyes glazed over; he’d been asked this question approximately seven thousand, two hundred and eighty-three times.
“I’ll give you one guess.”
“Well, I’m Palestinian, so I was kind of hoping…”
“You. Are. Naaaat.”
“I am.”
“You grew up here though?”
“Well, you’ve been off the boat a long time then. How many years?”
I had to think about it.
“Eighteen.” Holy shit. Eighteen? He was right. A long time.
“I’ve been off for thirty seven years,” he said. “What’s your name?”
“I’m Waleed.” We shook hands. “My parents were born and raised in Jerusalem.”
I thanked him and he said I better come back.
I took a donut out of the box and sank my mouth into its raspberry filling. My cheeks covered in powdered sugar, I read the cardboard box: Dino’s Donuts and Deli, LLC.
The LLC killed me.
I drove home.

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