I sit in a cold and dark corner of the university, I dream about my bed, but all I have is a coffee. I curse the building maintenance as I sit here, because they removed all the armchairs which used to make this place warm. It’s cold today, it’s rainy and foggy at the same time, and it’s dark – I feel the touch of winter.
This place, this feeling reminds me of a freezing winter night of the long-gone past.
There was knee-deep snow. I was wandering alone in the night on the outskirts of the city, where everyone was sleeping already. It is a neighbourhood with no shops and no pubs, just houses. Houses only for bored dogs, because the people wake up early in the morning, go to work, and arrive back late in the evening just to get some sleep before the next morning. All the windows were pitch-black, but the chimneys around were smiling down at me in a friendly way. And – surprise! – I heard a noise.
Here is the translation of my notes I made for myself later that night.
“I assume, the whole thing happened because some of the bus-drivers during winter – of course only because of the cold – only drink mulled wine. But, because drinking alone is a bad habit, and because they get into a funny mood if they drink anyway, they share their drinks with the buses. Who else could be closer to a bus-driver, than the bus? Glug, says the bus, as the mulled wine flows into the fuel tank. And then, man and machine rush together care-free through the night city. At this time of the day these buses are the kings of the road – just like the garbage trucks at dawn.
So there was silence; then some engine started to whistle from a distance – the noise of an automatic transmission which won’t shift gear, not for even God’s sake. And suddenly, the rushing and roaring, creaking and clashing blue phenomenon showed up from a corner. It was bright inside, so I could see the sleepy passengers as they were tottering to and fro. With a frightening speed, the vehicle passed me, disappeared at the next corner, and suddenly there was complete silence again.
The only thing which still reminded me that a bus had been here, was the smoke of the gasoline, and the sweet smell of cinnamon mixed into it. That’s what happened.”
Next day, between two lectures, I was sitting exactly here, like right now. Except the armchairs were still here. I was thinking about last night`s experience. Is it true, that some buses drink mulled wine? I don’t think so. Neither have I seen any driver who drinks alcohol during work.
But the sweet cinnamon smell was real.