augury doggerel

Saturday, February 18, 2006


No matter how I google it, I have the signs and sighs of "clinical depression," everything but the clinic and the bottles of pills. And what could be more depressing than being so typically deranged?

To cheer myself, I go to Bar Ikarus, the restaurant in the central bus station. I never remember to write about Bar Ikarus. Maybe the place makes me forget things or maybe that's part of the other thing, this clinical depression.

In the anteroom, men who live out of shopping bags hunch over radiators and raise clouds of themselves. They yell if you leave the door open too long. Their bags are set out in a row on the floor along a wall, like they've just come back from a shopping trip and are taking off their shoes. But they haven't and they don't.

Inside Bar Ikarus, the year is 1960 or so. Nothing is disposable. The two women working behind the counter are in their sixties. Cooked meals wait on white porcelain plates in a row on a steel counter under heat lamps. There is no such thing as a sneeze guard; when I order my coffee, I bend slightly and speak to a chicken leg and mashed potatoes and gravy; behind the warming lamps, a woman in a hair net answers me through a meat loaf and potatoes.

My coffee comes in a short glass on a porcelain saucer with a spoon made of some light alloy, maybe gellerium. The two sugar cubes on my saucer look worn. Their corners are rounded, like dice. A half inch layer of ground coffee floats at the top of the glass. I stir it, then look around while I wait for the coffee to settle and the glass to cool enough to lift. I leave the sugar cubes on the saucer. Maybe the nexts guy gets them.

An old man with a glass of tea coughs and coughs. He is polite enough to cough into his coat, under his arm, or he is preserving heat. He is old enough and ill enough that the women let him stay. I think about my own cough lately, like frogs' eggs, dark speckles in jelly.

But I have a home and I have to go there. At home, I listen to Peer Gynt at top volume. When I look over, the kid is watching cartoon robots and I am listening to trolls.


At 3:58 am, Blogger elbowlina said...

Being atypically arranged?

So maybe my depression should take your depression out for a drink, and while that's happening maybe we could make off with ourselves, leaving them there in the bottom of a bottle?

At 9:23 am, Blogger Roberta said...

Long ago I worked in a sixties restaurant. Re-cycling is not that new. We recycled sugar cubes, little butter pats on squares of wax paper, and dinner buns. I was a disloyal employee. I ripped every bun I got my hands on before I returned dirty dishes to the kitchen and I squished the butter. Only the sugar, under my watch, was returned to table after table until as you say, the cubes were quite rounded. If I didn't know different I swear you are speaking of the very same restaurant.

At 2:04 am, Blogger squicken1 said...

Sounds like the diner in central square, on Mass ave in Cambrige Mass. Now that is a place to go when your contmeplating suicide. If you don't feel better about yourself after a cup of coffee there, maybe you should place your head in an oven.

As a young man I worked in a factory that rounded the corners on sugar cubes. Sadly some guy invented a machine that took that job away from me. I suppose I show write to thank him...awe what's the use.

At 3:10 am, Blogger Henry Gould said...

Anyone who writes sentences like you do has no right to be depressed.

This law was just enacted by the Polish Parliament, haven't you heard? Eeksy-Peeksy Ordinance Opus # 132, 3rd Movement.

At 9:14 pm, Blogger sb said...

Such writing, yes. It cheers even another depressive. Looking so closely is the best cure.

At 11:09 pm, Blogger kelly said...

So sorry to hear of your depression. Sucks, doesn't it?
Best wishes

At 7:27 pm, Blogger Cherilyn Ferroggiaro said...

Been there as of late - I try to pull myself out, but it is much too strong. Hugs.


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