Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Stevie the Buddhist monk, genocide and ice cream (02)

Immediately I bump into Stevie. His face, like a dinner plate of misguided exuberance, gleams in the rain and quietly startles me.

"Hiya mate, long time no see." He says.

I have never met Stevie before. I repress my inquisitive disposition and try to ignore his case of mistaken identity. "is it?" I ask.

I think silently to myself that Stevie was right in a way. In my twenty one years of never meeting him, it had been somewhat of a long time.

I continue snapping the Mr. Whippy sign.

"I'm a monk ya know?" Stevie states excitedly.

"Yeah?" I reply appeasingly, pretending not to have noticed the orange robe that reached down to his feet and the stripe of yellow paint on his nose, positioned neatly on his face underneath a grey Nike Air max baseball cap. A decidedly unorthodox garment for a buddhist monk. Then again, he is called Stevie and has a west yorkshire accent, so he isn't short on surprises.

He shows me his clipboard and proceeds to tell me about a number of monk related events he is involved in. 

I find myself warming to Stevie. He says I can have a gift, then produces a book from his satchel.

"Nice one." I said, flicking through the pages. "Some nice illustrations."

"All I need is a donation." Stevie adds.

"Oh, its not quite a gift then, is it?" I reply.

Stevie looked bemused and proceeded to stumble through his disjointed, but humourous explanations of the illustrations.

"This one is Krishna speaking to the king of the world in front of his followers because he hoped to become one with him." 

I couldn't help but think if Krishna knew he was blue.

"This one is of the emperor of the world and Brahman in the great battle to rid the world of all the evil rulers. There were rivers of blood." He says triumphantly. 

I bite my tongue.

"It only happened 5000 years ago" I bite through my tongue.

"But isn't Brahman omnipotent?" I ask.

This seemed to tear open the realm of space and time, suspending us both in perpetual motionlessness. However, it was merely a short pause as Stevie glanced at the My Whippy sign for an answer that wasn't there. 

"Yeah" Stevie answers conclusively.

"Hmmm..." I ponder. "Could he not have just thought the evil rulers away? ..why the rivers of blood and genocide? "

Silence again. Then a smile. 

"Why not?"

Ahh, the classic 'why not' argument. A fool proof system of dialectics. Stevie is brighter than his dim light-bulbed head would suggest.

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