An Upside of the Lockdowns

I sometimes miss going to the Sweet Donkey Coffee Shop, the little cafe in Roanoke, VA where I used to spend a few hours working on my laptop practically every day – until a day around this time last year, when I was told I was no longer welcome there because I was unwilling to stop showing my face – i.e., to  perform the sickening ritual affirming the hideous lie that has turned the country half crazy – and the other half angry for objecting to being pressured to pretend they share in the crazy, by looking just like the crazies.

But I am no longer missing the money I used to spend at the Donk, every day.

The sum isn’t small, though it was incrementally so.

Each day I went there, I generally got at least one cup of coffee – which cost an astounding-in-retrospect $3 per. Plus tax, as Elvis once said. Refills were another buck and I almost always got at least one of those, too. Plus usually a cookie, on account of it being very hard for me to resist those, especially when I am trying to write – the cookie’s cost justified to myself as necessary cost of doing business and the cookie itself my Pavlovian reward for getting it done.

The cookies cost about $3 each, too – which seems (which is) expensive, no matter how “artisanal” but as anyone who has a sweet tooth knows, it is very hard to think about the price of a cookie when you just want that cookie  . . . and there it is. Plus, they were really good cookies – and so was the coffee. I genuinely enjoyed both as well as being there. And then – just like that – I no longer was.

And neither was my money.

I suddenly had noticeably more of it.

One $3 cup of coffee per day plus a refill and perhaps a cookie every other day averages out to about $5 per day I was spending at the Donk. Plus the tip I always put in the jar, because I liked the people working there and appreciated their work as well as them, personally. The total I spent per day at the Donk was at least $5-6 per day and probably more but for the sake of some rough math, I’ll say $5.

I generally spent a few hours there every day, six days each week. Sometimes, seven. It was part of my ritual; the way I made myself get down to business every day. It is hard to play hookie when you’re seated at a table, laptop open – and just spent $6 for a cup coffee and a cookie, which you just rationalized doing by telling yourself that now you were going to  sing for your supper.

Anyhow, I recently added up what I haven’t been spending at the Donk since last summer.

Six (days) times five (dollars) equals $30 dollars per week, not counting tips, which I always gave – often generously, especially as Sickness Psychosis descended and – in the first stages thereof – I was sometimes the only person at the Donk giving tips because almost no one else was willing to transgress The Coonman’s (Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s) “lockdowns,” forbidding the “nonessential” – i.e., not himself and other essential government “workers” from even leaving their homes, except for necessities – which didn’t include coffee and cookies.

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