Don goes grocery shopping
Monday, May 29 2023
location: unit #4, 201 North Madison Street, Staunton, Virginia
Late this morning, I drove out to Creekside, where I managed to salvage a few additional things that will otherwise end up in a dumpster some day. But my main reason for driving out there today was to take Don to a grocery store to re-up his food supplies. Don is so disorganized that there is probably plenty of edible food in his two refrigerators. But there are also clearly things that have gone bad in there, and there is nothing in Don's mind that will ever make him throw the rotten food away. He is completely insensitive to the sour smell that surrounds him, and he's not embarrassed enough about it to consider doing something about it for the benefit of visitors. Our mother's old dog Maple mostly refuses to go into that trailer except in extreme weather, and the smell is probably the reason. Can you imagine an environment so malodorous that a dog wouldn't want to be in it?
Don's grocery store of choice is still the Dollar Tree out on US 11 just north of the pile of rubble where the Staunton Mall used to be. I drove him there and waited outside. He didn't have any food stamps left for grocery shopping but apparently did have about $20, enough to buy a good number of those $1 frozen sandwiches he lives on. He was in there awhile before coming out and saying he just needed $10 more to purchase what he wanted. Much like one would do with a dog, I've trying not to enable his begging, but in this case I just handed him a $10 bill. Eventually appeared with lots of boxed sandwiches and a couple pizzas too. I drove him home, showed him a few additional things he needed to know about his smartphone (especially how to maximize videos in YouTube and how to reboot it when it's glitchy), and then drove myself back to Staunton.
I'd heard about a Thai restaurant somewhere in Staunton, so I set out on foot in hopes of finding it. It turned out it was in a big brick house near my AirBnB, but, though its web listing said it was open, I saw no activity around it and I'm a little nervous walking up to the door of what looks like a private house in this age of well-armed people terrified by what they've been watching on Fox News. At some point along the way while I was standing at a corner looking at my phone when a man asked if I was lost, a matter-of-fact kindness to strangers that one never experiences in the Hudson Velley. Other unfamiliar things that happen in Staunton but not in, say, Kingston, NY, is strangers smiling at me and saying "hello."
Not having eaten any Thai food, I had to meet my caloric needs some other way. I drove out to the Walmart to get some more electricity into my car and get some groceries I could assemble into food back in the AirBnB. I've been living on tostadas and bagels with hummus, so I wanted some things to make those staples more interesting. Ideally I would've found some Tofurky, vegan mayonnaise, and maybe vegan cream cheese. But Walmart's customers (the ones who like to drink anti-woke coffee) apparently make no demands for such products, at least not in Virginia, so the best I could do was find some refried beans, orange juice, lettuce, and radishes.
Once the car was charged up to 71%, I drove it to a Martin's, another supermarket nearby, and looked for those vegan products there. I managed to find some faux chicken patties, but nothing beyond that.
I returned to the AirBnB and settled in for the evening. I discovered the teevee in the loft apartment has a 4K picture, meaning I would have a nice big desktop for the remote work I planned to do this week. Meanwhile dark clouds were passing by outside, and occasionally torrents of rain came hammering down on the metal standing-seam roof.
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