Of death, and Glasgow
The Glaswegian dead occupy a piece of prime estate, in the aptly named Necropolis (the city of the Necros - trust me, I learned classical Greek in school), overlooking the city.
From there you can see a brewery in action. And not just any brewery. The Tennent's brewery... quality, that. Trust me, I used to drink beer. From there you can also see a football stadium, slightly further in the distance. And not just any stadium. Celtic Park... quality, that. Trust me, I know a guy who thinks he knows about football.
But back to my original, sleep-deprived musing. Judging by the size of the monuments, not any old pleb could hope for a spot in the very exclusive Necropolis. Here the achievements of a past life are measured in square acres of carved stone, in tons of polished marble. No doubt these last resting places are occupied by the captains of industry who sat at the end of long oak tables in the boardrooms of the large dark red stone buildings erected a few miles down toward the river, as potent reminders that it is financially comfortable to rule over a large empire.
But as I walked in the crisp, bright evening through the alleys of this place built to glorify wealth and social status, I couldn’t help but reflect that at the end of the day, they are just as dead as the plebs who are buried elsewhere.
They are gone. I walked through a forest of nothingness. My quick assessing of the grandiosity of their sepulchre did not bring them back to life. They are dead. Gone. Here and there I stopped to read a name, or perhaps the bare minimum summary of a life carved in stone: a name; two dates – beginning and end; sometimes a title, now even more futile than it ever was; a prestigious occupation that no longer occupies; the name of the spouse, fully focused on their own nothingness. And perhaps, at an infinitesimal level, the fact of silently mouthing their name fleetingly lifts them out of the Big Nothing. A tiny tiny little spark of acknowledgement of a life that once was, a molecule of existence not quite fully extinguished. A stirring in the dark void. Not quite a dead cat bounce. More of a flee’s tremor.
Followed by an eternity of being totally dead, gone, forgotten, for good. No longer revered, feared, loved, despised or envied. Just dead. Just like the plebs that were interred elsewhere, in lesser burial plots.
Death is the great leveller. I sometimes suspect that the Grim Reaper is a Marxist.
But apart from the morbid musings, I hear you say, how was Glasgow? Aye, it was brilliant!!
Sign in or get an account to comment.