Sikkimese Graffiti

1:12 PM Wednesday April 5, 2000

monk in schoolroom   20171 bytes

It was 12:36pm today before something happened to light up my insides and make me glad I'm alive. It struck me that this stuff happens every day eventually. At some point, my day becomes christened by beauty and nothing is the same after that. Today I got up, OK, actually I laid in bed listening to the jeep and bus stand under my window here in Gangtok. I finally made it out around a quarter to 12 just in time for check-out and I walked to the place where you get a jeep to the western part of Sikkim. I got a seat on the 1:30 jeep to Pelling and went into a restaurant where they were eating food I didn't recognize. They had no menu. Neat, I thought, just like my first day in Bangalore. I watched the guy in the booth with me (you have to sit with other people sometimes) finish his lunch. He didn't look up at me but gobbled his rice, watery gravy, beef cubes and potatoes. I ordered what he had and ate it. It was OK. My mother would have liked it. Anyhow, I put on my headphones 'cause I was bored and I looked out the window. Then I saw graffiti on the booth wall in back of me that said:

I love you
You like me

And there was a picture of a heart with an arrow through it.

Then the romantic drivel of Elliott Smith I was listening to sunk in like that arrow and I thought of the boy, maybe one of these westernized Nepalese boys with a leather jacket who wrote it. The man in the booth across is a businessman. He's pounding his beer, setting his glass down for only a couple of seconds before lifting it and taking another drink.

That's the space I'm in. The waiter keeps walking over every 15 seconds to see if I've put money on the little tray with fennel seeds and toothpicks. It says 54 rupees. They're probably pissed that I'm sitting here writing and not vacating their booth.