I have a confession to make. I’ve started writing in front of the television.
Horrors, Jim! How could you?
Simple. It’s winter. The floor in the basement, and my office as a result, is cold. And American Idol has started again.
OK, that last one is lame.
In a former life, no one thought twice about me fleeing to the Starbucks at the bottom of the hill to bang out a couple thousand words. Type. Drink coffee. Ogle scantily-clad MILFs sauntering in from the nearby Gold’s Gym. I’d sit in one of the comfy chairs and sip coffee while my muse poured prose into my head.
It’s cold in the basement, and besides, my wife is upstairs. Sometimes, I get the impression I’m abandoning her. Already I have to come down here for long stretches to read books for review or do school work. Ah, the joys of being a middle-aged college student.
So do I go back to the coffee shop to work on writing projects?
In Deer Park, there is one mom-and-pop coffee bar, Buffalo Mountain. They closed in November when their lease ended. Last week, they reopened across the street in a smaller (ie – more cheaply rented) strip mall. “Free wireless!” the owner assured me when I dropped by for a cup of Sumatra. It’s a great alternative to Starbucks. I’d be supporting small business, and besides, the nearest Starbucks is in Kenwood. It’s a cramped location with a parking lot designed for the maximum number of fender benders.
I suppose I could go to the Starbucks in the Barnes & Noble across the parking lot from the standalone one. However, there’s no place to plug in my laptop there (Yes, I’m too cheap to replace my dying battery.), and I’d probably spend most of my time browsing the stacks and running up my Chase bill buying whatever caught my eye.
So is it worth it spending $1.80 for coffee I can make at home cheaper? Do I need to man up and put on my slippers and a sweater? Do I need to spend more time with my wife and kid?
All good questions. Some days, I do miss going to that Starbucks. I don’t missed the cramped apartment I lived in when I did.
*With apologies to John Scalzi