By: Reynard Hodges
I have to assume that MS Donuts, a short yellow building in a small Echo Park plaza where Glendale and Alvarado fork, is open during the daytime. But on any given night, seven days a week, if I step around to the right of its locked parking lot entrance doors and peek through a small side window between the hours of midnight and 4 am, I’ll see the shop’s sole baker hard at work. I like to take a minute to watch him, maybe pulling and stretching the raw dough into its familiar shape, or delicately and precisely flipping each donut floating in hot oil with long tapered wooden sticks. Eventually I will rap several times on the thin glass pane, and he will slip on a pair of flour bleached sandals, slide the window open and greet me with an enormous smile.
“Hello! Hello, my friend,” he says, with a thick Khmer accent. “How are you tonight? Coming from work?”
He laughs as he speaks, and I have long thought of him as an unusually good natured person. But through many late night talks—I’ve been going weekly for six years—I’ve learned that he still laughs when he isn’t happy. He will laugh as he tells me how tired he is, as he explains that he works seven days of the week, as he tells me that he only can get a few days off during the entire year.
By Julius Jaramillo
I’d be hard pressed to find someone who’d never had a bad period in their life. A time where confusion, desperation, and sorrow dragged themselves down to meet those demons, starving for a piece of cynicism. If I did meet this person, I would be impressed but at the same time… I might need to catch my breath. Because I have been through dark periods; lonely years where you don’t see things as black and white, but as a hot red. Those experiences take a lot of time and effort to come out the other end from. And though I’m not perfect today by any means, the work I have done has led me to a realization that has now meant more than ever before… I am a Superman Fan.
I had my Batman periods, my Spider-Man marathons, my Doctor Strange vacations, but it would always come back to The Last Son of Krypton. As I think back on it, he’s been an inspiration throughout my upbringing. Looking for my first pair of glasses, I knew I wanted to be the only Middle Schooler resembling Clark Kent, brilliantly late for work at the Daily Planet. And when I’d hear the music from John Williams Superman Theme, I would go outside, and look up, shooting my arms as if the momentum would actually launch me.
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