The all-time high value for one bitcoin was $19,783.06--just before Christmas, on December 17, 2017. I had five and a half of them at the time, down from a total of 10 purchased over the course of 2013.
The first bitcoin I bought was from a shop in the San Francisco Ferry Building. A typical tourist trap full of local cheeses, those jams you can buy anywhere but look fancy, probably a dozen varieties of fudge, and a particular local brand of spicy pickles that I love. I bought a jar for five bucks, but forked over a grand total of $105, cash. The $100 extra showed up on my phone, as one whole bitcoin.
I bought the pickles as an antidote to the most serious side-effect of my primary medication at the time, edible cannabis. I'd wash down tiny pieces of dank dark chocolate bars with lukewarm stale coffee from the work break room, take a brisk walk to an ever-expanding radius of bars with food for lunch--satellites of sanity, all--located no more than a mile from my hated cubicle.
There was the Irish bar for Taco Tuesdays, the hidden old-school place a floor above the street in an outdoor mall next to a theater (my favorite), a hideously overpriced Italian place (they did have my favorite local beer on tap), to-go (to a barstool) from the sandwich shop next to a rank dive bar (always fun on Thursdays and Friday with televised golf), the Indian buffet featuring magnums of beer with little horse tags on the labels (great for relaxing with a book), a secret top-floor steakhouse with the most amazing onion rings, ice-cold bottles of Sierra Nevada, and a city view (bit of a hike, but worth it).
Once inside any of these establishments, I would down a couple chocolate-covered espresso beans. Additional weed, just a few more milligrams. The dry mouth caused by first dose would start to kick in, I'd quickly quench it with a beer, and then have another with food. Maybe one for dessert. One for the road.
I ate and drank under time pressure--I had only an hour, but could usually stretch it for an extra 15 minutes. The elevator too slow, just had a quick errand to run at CVS picking up snacks, the line at Starbucks so long. The line at Starbucks was always long, which is exactly why I stopped there. More mouthwash than coffee.
I don't know if anyone at work ever caught on. I did my best work in the afternoon: focused, efficient, cheerful. Eventually they even gave me an office. I moved out of the cube, brought in a lamp, an old receiver and speakers, art for MY walls. I'd play music softly with the door open and fluorescents turned off, usually reading about and buying bitcoin. I was so depressed.
Just before Christmas in 2017, I was worth approximately $108,806.83 in bitcoin. I didn't sell it.