Remember that part from O Brother, Where Art Thou? where Ulysses Everett McGill wants his brand of pomade and General Store clerk has only another brand in stock?
Of course you do, and if you haven’t seen the movie you are an uncultured heathen.
Everett: Hold on, I don’t want this pomade. I want Dapper Dan.
Clerk: I don’t carry Dapper Dan, I carry Fop.
Everett: Well, I don’t want Fop, damn it! I’m a Dapper Dan man!
Clerk: Watch your language, young feller, this is a public market. Now if you want Dapper Dan, I can order it for you, have it in a couple of weeks.
Everett: Well, ain’t this place a geographical oddity. Two weeks from everywhere!
Now replace Dapper Dan with Krispy Kreme and Fop with Dunkin Donuts and Everett with Malcolm and you have the exact same dynamic working.
Kids with Down Syndrome are extremely visual in their learning styles; they associate certain sights with certain actions. When Malcolm is in a certain lane on Silas Creek Parkway he automatically assumes he is going to the doctor and his actions reveal his angst. When the van is in the other lane, then he believes he is going to one of his favorite places to eat and a totally different Malcolm appears.
However, when we are anywhere near Stratford Road near Thruway, the boy knows.
If he is sound asleep…
If he is in a tantrum…
If he is in a state of inconsolable pity…
And if we come anywhere near that part of town, a magical light starts glowing in is heart, a smile appears on his face, an angelic gleam comes to his eyes, and a chorus of happiness comes from the backseat –
We are Krispy Kreme people. It’s Winston-Salem. It’s hometown. It’s history.
Now it’s Malcolm’s. He literally walks in, grabs his seat, watches as I go get his glazed donut and jug of milk. I get a coffee and bring him his stuff with a napkin and a straw. He asks to “blow” the straw which means I let him blow the wrapper off at me. Her then eats his donut with precision, drinks some of his milk, and then takes my soffee for himself.
We talk about guy stuff and sometimes be silent together. Time is of no concern. We are bonding.
Two guys in a donut shop, sometimes watching God’s own goodness being created in front of our eyes.
But the time together? That’s Christmas.