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.