Entering the second week and a new phase of my sister’s recovery, it has been a hectic time: eight to twelve hours in a hospital room each day, chasing down doctors, nurses, and techs; now getting the home ready for Martha’s return, and various and sundry other errands.
Being an old mariner, coffee participated along with me. The hospital cafeteria serves Starbucks. i am not a Starbucks fan. The coffee i have in their shops is bitter, and i don’t drink the foo foo stuff. i must confess the Starbucks coffee in this cafeteria wasn’t bitter.
For me, coffee is meant to be black, nothing added. i also find independent coffee shops to be the best. i like the atmosphere and the people. My favorite is Donny’s Cafe. Beginning as a rolling kiosk outside a bike shop on the way to work years ago, it has grown into a small diner attached to the bike shop. Donny, a former professional bike racer in Spain, is one of the nicest people i’ve ever met. He is also a terrific philosopher.
But i digress (surprise, surprise). The point was to be: i drink a lot of coffee, not as much as i used to drink on ships, but still a lot. The “lot” grew with this assignment. i have visited the cafeteria many times.
My coffee trips have produced a puzzlement. On most of my trips, the cashier punched the magic buttons and i paid $1.85. But on the third or fourth cup, the amount went to $2.25, same cup size, same coffee, forty cents price difference. i paid the new amount and said nothing.
i figured inflation.
The next trip the price returned to $1.85. i was puzzled but happy. i liked the coffee more when it forty cents cheaper.
After several more trips, i went back the next day, and i was charged $1.75. “Certainly getting better,” i thought.
And the next trip? Back to most frequent $1.85.
This morning, i arrived early. Martha is scheduled to get out of the hospital today, and i wanted to be there early to get as much information as possible on the requirements once we get her home.
i stopped at the cafeteria, got my coffee. The tally was $2.27.
i already had decided i would just pay and not ask questions, figuring i might get a cashier or two in trouble. i have no idea how they rang up different four different prices for the same cup of coffee. Don’t want to know.
i’m just glad i will be making coffee at Martha’s house for a few more days.