I cannot sleep on public transport.
Exhausted, shaky, nervous and very fragile, I clamber on to the overnight bus at Tallinna Auotobussijaam and curl up in my seat. I cover myself with jackets, and for the first time in my travelling history clutch Eeyore tightly to me rather than keeping him carefully hidden in a bag. Screw public opinion. I may be 27 but at this particular moment in time that stuffed donkey is my main source of comfort and reassurance.
I doze very lightly. Too lightly for it to have any effect. My neck and legs ache, my mind is racing, there are sick feelings of hurt and loneliness in the pit of my stomach, and every jolt of the bus reminds me that I am leaving the place I was so happy to be back in. Plus I’m hungry. I can’t eat in times of distress and stress, and so I haven’t eaten in over 24 hours, something I’m now coming to regret.
I am knackered, and deeply envious of the small child across the aisle, who lay down and fell asleep within two minutes of boarding the bus. He has slept quietly and peacefuly since we left, and this is annoying me greatly, despite the fact that to me, a quiet, well-behaved, sleeping child on the bus is almost as wonderful as no children whatsoever on the bus. But now, in my sleep-deprived and sorrowful state, I can only resent him.
The bus stops for some reason. Some people get out and smoke. Then someone gets back on with a cheeseburger. A cheeseburger! It is after 2am. I look out of the windows in all directions, and can see no open shops, no food hatches, not even a lone burger stand. This horrible man has manifested a cheeseburger from nowhere and is now brazenly parading it past my sleepless, foodless body.
I gaze longingly at the cheeseburger as it passes me. For a wild, reckless moment I consider pouncing on its owner, or at least sticking my foot out and tripping him up. I decide against it, as he would probably drop and/or fall on top of the cheeseburger, rendering it inedible anyway.
The bus starts up again. My foot has gone into mad cramping spasms. My stomach is growling angrily. An unmistakable cheeseburger aroma wafts towards me and envelopes me in its warm and tantalising deliciousness.
He is eating the cheeseburger. With no care for the fact that I am starving. I can’t get over his brazen thoughtlessness, the flaunting, the taunting. I hate him. Hate him! I can hear him chewing and making noises of contentment. What an utter sadist.
I pull my coat back over my head and return to not sleeping.