This is the third cup. The third cup of instant coffee, dark without a hint of sweetness, bitter and sharp. Much like most of his life.
It’s still not working.
Lan contemplates: he really should stop buying cheap instant powdered coffee. It probably has much less caffeine as the real stuff brewed from beans roasted then ground to bitterness. But reality….oh…sorry…the real thing is hard to find, and tends to cost much more. He did not have enough money to keep what was real.
Maybe he should put some sugar into it. A teaspoon. Two. A sugar cube. Or three. It’s probably the sugar that will makes him perk up, he muses. The sugar high, Beika calls it. It makes one feel good and happy about oneself, she tells him. Ah, but even she forgets, even if she is a healer. The sugar high lasts long with her, one truly happy with life. Sweetness makes him happy for a few fleeting moments, then it sends him stumbling back into a dark reality, along with a terrible pulling need to sleep, forget, disappear.
Probably some creamer would work into it, too. But he does not have any left. Besides, creamers are false. He refuses to believe in something that only masks the bitterness in a lie, and that not very well.
So he gulps down his third warm cup of plain instant dark coffee, without sugar, without creamer, hoping it would finally work to let him start the day.
But it does not, and he curls up in bed again, forcing sleep to reclaim him.