Updated: Nov 15
I reached in my pocket to pay for my cranberry scone and my hundred dollar bill that I was reaching for got caught on the zipper of my sweatpants and ripped in half. One half of it was in my hand and the other half was in my pocket. I stood there, looking from my hand to my pocket, stunned. Then, I grabbed the half in my pocket and tried to put it back onto the half in my hand. “Do you guys have any tape??” I asked the barista.
She was chewing gum and watching me, unamused by my money problems. She said, “Sure.” Then she handed me some tape.
The line behind me was growing, and I felt the pressure of their impatient eyes on my flesh. Whether they were actually impatient or not, I’ll never know. I quickly taped the hundred dollar bill together and then proudly presented it to the short barista.
“We can’t accept that,” she said so frankly that it stung more than it should’ve.
“B-but you just watched me tape it together; you saw it rip in my pocket; y-you know that I am trying here.”
“Yeah, still can’t take it, though.” Her gum could be seen rolling around in her mouth as she spoke. “You don’t have a card?”
“It got hacked! That’s why I only have cash. Hold on, I have some change in my car. 5.50, right? I’ll be right back.” I looked back at the line and with my hands up in surrender, I told them, “Sorry, guys. This lady doesn’t believe in tape.” She rolled her eyes and the eyes of the people in line were definitely impatient now.
I got to my car and searched frantically for quarters but could only find: three dollars worth of quarters, one dollar in dimes, fifty-five cents in nickels and 17 pennies. I grabbed the change and grabbed a few old soda cans that I had in my car as well. With my hands full, I came back into the coffee shop and dropped everything on the counter. “There,” I said, “that’s got to be 5.50. Now give me my scone.”
“We can’t accept this either, dude.”
The line was out of the door now. I looked around for help but no one’s eyes were looking for mine; no, the opposite was happening; everyone had their hands buried into their pockets and was avoiding my eyes like I was Medusa reincarnated.
“I know!” I exclaimed, “Crypto? I have a grand worth of cryptocurrency. Surely that has some practical value here!” I looked around again, hoping to find anyone that would agree with me, but no one did, and one man even shook his head and muttered, “Pathetic. His generation doesn’t want to work hard to earn their money.”
I lost it. “Fuck you, boomer! I have money! I have a Goddamn job! I work my whole life away, just so I can come to places like this, buy a nice cup of coffee, and a mother fucking cranberry scone! Then, I like to sit down and write for a few hours! That’s all I want . . . I work so much just for a few hours of peace a week. So, I won’t hear any of your shit, alright, grandpa boomer douchebag??”
He smiled a malicious smile at me and then said loudly, making sure everyone in the coffee shop could hear, “Mental health problems, too, his generation is full of em.”
I punched him in the face, reached around the counter, grabbed my cranberry scone, and put it between my teeth, holding it there. Then I gave the barista the middle finger from both my hands, and turned to the rest of the people there, and the old man, and gave them both my middle fingers, too. With the scone in my mouth, I said, “Y’all can sit and spin on these.” I left the coffee shop and drove away.
Later on, when I was arrested, they told me how much it would be to post my bail.
“Really?” I said, “that’s so much money, though.”
“That’s what you get for being a dipshit,” the officer said back. As he was walking away, I shouted at him, “Wait! I know! Crypto! I’ll pay my bail in cryptocurrency!”
He laughed hysterically, as he left me alone in a cell.