Just because people usually buy you lots of drinks during periods of significant personal trauma doesn’t mean you stop spending. Herewith, the damage I’ve done in the past week:
• $44: Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s, Visual Sensations: The Paintings of Robert Swain, 1967–2010, and a set of Robert Rauschenberg postcards at the Hirshhorn Museum’s gift shop
• $2.50: Tea at Chinatown Coffee Co.
• $60: Deposit at Tattoo Paradise. Nothing like making plans for another tattoo in times of emotional distress!
• $16: A Bell’s Amber Ale and burger with mushrooms at Cafe Saint-Ex
• $18: Cash, given to a friend of a friend for a ticket to see Ted Leo at the Black Cat
• $9.50: Lunch special from A.M. Wine Shoppe (tuna salad sandwich, San Pellegrino aranciata, chips; I don’t eat the chips)
• $35: Co-pay for a doctor’s appointment
• $49.99: Ambien prescription. My insurance’s servers are down, and I know I can’t spend another night awake. Though the co-pay would knock the price down to $10, I pay out-of-pocket.
• $17.43: Nachos and pulled pork sliders at Riot Act Comedy, where my company is sponsoring a trivia night. The nachos appeared to be microwaved. The sliders are mushy. I accidentally leave my debit card at the bar—when I realize it’s still there, I go to the bank and cancel it rather than picking it up.
• $6.34: Tomato-basil soup and a package of saltines at Safeway
• $7: An Ommegang Hennepin at Marvin. He tells me it’s over when we walk outside. I sob continuously for the next few hours and feel justified in paying out-of-pocket for the Ambien.
• $188: Outlier women’s daily riding pants. I rationalize buying the pants I’ve wanted for over a year because they’ve been restocked and I’ve been dumped.
• $100: Sliding scale payment for a therapist appointment. The therapist I’ve found—at the last minute, via Psychology Today’s online listings, after a spelling mistake on the front cover of the paper I copy edit sends me into the most painful throes of anxiety yet—is out-of-network. I discover this way that my insurance deductible is far too high to ever be met in the 33 weeks left in the year, because I had no idea what I was doing when I picked out a health insurance plan.
• $9.50: Lunch special from A.M. Wine Shoppe (vegetable panini, Blenheim ginger ale, chips; I eat half of everything)
• $10: Lower Dens show at Rock & Roll Hotel
• $12: Acid Mothers Temple show at Red Palace
• $16.32: A SmokeShack burger, fries, and Washington Monu-Mint concrete from Shake Shack.
• $12.07: Brunch special at Sticky Fingers
• $12.57: A pile of classical records from Unique Thrift. I’ve just finished Alex Ross’ The Rest is Noise and want to aurally understand the magic of Sibelius’ tone poems.
• $9.07: Taro mochi, guava candies, jasmine tea, and pickled mango from Great Wall Grocery in Falls Church
• $49.42: Beefeater gin and Lunazul Reposado tequila (on sale!) at an ABC store. Virginia, you’re weird.
• $10: My friend’s band’s show at Black Cat
• $12.13: A 24-pack of Cottonelle toilet paper. I’m out—and I like it soft.
Alex Baca rides a bike in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Flickr/Eligerma)