Of Glasgow and Gormenghast
Sitting here looking up at the sky I can see the domes and towers of Glasgow. A sprawling beast slowly encroaching on the surrounding land. The architecture as varied as Peake's great city, all you have to do is look up and you can see them one on top of another jostling each other for the right to survive. Every so often one is destroyed and another built in its place, different from what went before and from all those around it.
Every day hundreds flock to the city from behind it's invisible walls. Hundreds enter through it's gates: Glasgow Central Station, Queen Street Station, Buchanan Bus Station and the many roads that spread out from it's centre. Then every evening they leave, crushed together so they cannot breathe. Every day the same ritual, in and out. "I could never live in the city" back and forward. "It's only an hour commute" And yet despite their protests they keep coming. Drawn to it, an invisible force that pulls them back.
And then the weekend. Hundreds more push through the gates. It is shopping day. The ritual at the end of every week. They gather on Buchanan Street moving from building to building and the occasional street performer. Like ants they move around in a crowd that seems to encompass the entire centre. Only to leave again with the air full of complaints. "Far too crowded" Cramped again through the gates. "I hate the city on a Saturday" But like the ticking of a clock they will be back again next Saturday, to observe the ritual.
But Gormenghast is every city and we are all the inhabitants performing the pointless rituals, although we have forgotten the meaning. Longing to break free and yet staying still, exactly where we are.
Note: Written with a certain amount of self ridicule as I am as guilty as the rest.