Sitting one morning at this coffee place (pictured above) in the ‘extreme sports capitol” of New Zealand, the table seemed almost to vibrate in resonance with the exhilaration of those heading out for a day of bungee jumping or paragliding and whatever damn fool things young people get up to these days. But one guy at the table looked sombre, withdrawn, unbearably sad. I stayed for a third mug wondering if he might open up a bit. And he did, telling me he had stayed behind while his friends pursued their adventures.
“When I got outta bed, I felt I could hardly walk.” “In pain?” “No, just depressed”
“I feel like that too, some mornings” I said, almost adding “until I have had my third cuppa.” Something in his expression told me I had started disastrously down the wrong track, so I quickly, if a little lamely, changed course: “until I . . . until the mood lifts.”
“It’s an illness,” he said, pushing to his feet, “not really a mood.”