Two boxes of doughnuts are sitting in my building’s foyer. The doughnuts have that inexperienced, cost-cutting glaze common to off-brand doughnuts – the kind that leaves the doughnuts looking like they’ve been left out in a rain for a few days, even though the seal on the box has never been broken.

I know it sounds crazy, but I want to eat those fucking doughnuts. Why can’t I eat those fucking doughnuts?

Every time I walk by them – they’ve been resting in the foyer, those two boxes cuddled next to each other inside a plastic shopping bag, for two full days now, maybe more – I feel like Alex from A Clockwork Orange, painfully attempting to re-orient himself into society and resist his natural appetites. Except, my appetite is for doughnuts instead of raping and hitting old people with sticks.

Maybe that’s a poor analogy. Imagine if, in A Clockwork Orange, instead of being a ultra-violent droog, Alex was a black bear and a forest ranger caught him eating garbage from a campsite and then shackled the bear into a chair with his eyelids forced open. Then, while a PA system thundered with the sound of the bear’s favorite song – maybe the theme from Yogi the Bear or that song where the bears are tricked into picking up garbage in the park by performing the task to a catchy tune (“then you take the stick, put it in the bag – boom! boom!”) – the forest ranger plays the bear continuous footage of black bears eating garbage and tearing apart picnic baskets while victimized campers cry.

I feel a lot like that bear/droog, released back into society, and those two boxes of doughnuts are a clever snare. I want to bite through the cardboard and eat those (24!) free doughnuts, but I won’t. I can’t. So, instead, I just slouch toward my apartment and eat the two boxes of doughnuts I went out of my way to buy at 3 in the morning, as a way of taking my mind off the free doughnuts in my lobby. And I feel like a productive member of society, even though at night I dream of having a bit of the old “in-out” – in this case, “in” being “doughnuts in my mouth” and “out” being “hot, glazed tears of joy streaming out of my morbidly obese eyes.”

[post-script: someone ate some of the doughnuts. the bag is still there. i wish i could be that free.]

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