On the corner at three in the morning, waiting for the boys to finish their cigarettes. ‘Cigarette bonna’the?’ Literally do I want to drink a cigarette. No I don’t want to drink a cigarette. But they know that. It’s well late and the interrupted beer has worn off. The necessary products have been produced and mailed and now we can go home. I’m verra sleepy. Round the corner come about seven guys in green with assault rifles, also know as cops. Bit shruggy, like I give a fuggy. We go quiet and think they’re going to walk by but they don’t. Guy stops and eyes us suspiciously. Like Johnny’s in the basement mixing up the medicine, I’m on the pavement thinking ’bout the government. We’re in ties and button downs, but I guess we could still be Tamil. They ask where we’re from, what we’re doing. What where I’m from has to do with. It kinda sucks that you can’t say you’re from Batti or Wellawatte without questions and worse. But we’re not. The Tamil girl has gone home safe for the night. They ask if we have transport for some reason and then move along. Seven guys with guns walking down the street. Wonder when they get to go to bed, and what their conditions are like. Thankless job. I certainly find it hard to thank them.
When I first came to Sri Lanka I didn’t really do anything. Ficially. Those have generally been the most productive periods of my life and my parents have generally encouraged/indulged me. I read every book in the house, woke up at noon, lay on the floor with the cat, staring at the ceiling fan. Spent countless nights doing and redoing the design for indi.ca, learning everything I could about WordPress. Seemed devoid of point, but I’ve been selling crapped out versions of those skills for like 3 years now. Didn’t make any money, have any money, feel like I needed any money. Didn’t have an ID or nothing much in my pockets at all, except a camera. Used to take the 177 bus around for like Rs 4. Used to feel awkward if I had 100 Rupees cause I couldn’t change it anywhere. Go to the gym, stay underwater for a while, walk around, go bother Deshan at his square job. It was all right. I remember the first time they pulled everybody off the bus, asking for ID. I had a photocopied passport and a stupid grin. Seems like a long time ago. Before the roads closed, before the guns came out.
Sometimes I wonder where all the cops from. Now must be a great time to be a their outstation. I bet they’re called away from home, staying it shitty hostels, eating shitty food, walking around at night, sober. I mean, it sucks, but in terms of doing their job, cops suck too. I hear that they’re deputizing trishaw drivers and local johnnies too, giving them some uniform and telling them to flag people down. Civil Defence Committees or whatever. All I’m saying, is give peace a chance. Talking ’bout fighting terrorism, there was no terrorism during the ceasefire. Man, fuck terrorism, that’s like if Google spent 90% of its time reacting to spam and acted proud of it. Rather than just managing it without fucking up the entire business plan. Whatevs. I got my hands full. Just gonna go home and sleep till 2011.