I bought myself some books today. I’ve got a wish list on amazon some 50 books long, and this afternoon I spent about forty five minutes carefully selecting the cheapest combination of second hand books so as to spend less than $30 total including shipping. When I finally clicked the confirm button, I’d ordered some five books, not one more expensive than $4. I sat back, pleased with myself, eager to start reading as soon as my orders came in.

Tonight. A mere hour or two ago. I’m at a bar in South Beach, rammed up against it’s edge, and the bartender is leaning in to hear the order I’m yelling.

“Two vodka red bulls!” Deciding to be smart, I add, “And make it well vodka!”

The bartender nods, gets busy. A few moments later he shoves a couple of modest glasses over to me. I pull out a $20 bill, hand it over. He takes it, shakes his head.

“$38!” He yells, grinning.

I smile, completely bewildered. “What?”

“$19 each! $38 total!”

“Oh. Give that back then.” Act cool under pressure. Act nonchalant. Act like paying $20 per fucking drink is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I hand him my credit card. “Try this,” I bellow at him. He smiles again, walks off.

Fuck. All I could think as I sat there staring at those two amber colored glasses was the number of books I could have bought. Fuck fuck fuck.

Sometimes, I just hate South Beach.