We begin by crossing over from the top of
Duke Street, then another cross of traffic lights
where Tollcross Road and the Gallowgate both
meet: connecting two roads for a long journey
either way, in unity and harmony.
From here, another cross past Springfield Road
is necessary; four out of five ways isn't so
bad, however we only have the one way to
journey forth toward. Rain, hail, snow and
shine. We've done them all and we've met
them all along the way!
The penitents departing
en-masse from mass at the chapel; the biddies
with their daughters, complete with trollies
from the Forge; the jakies standing at the
bus stops, outside and across from the necropolis;
football fans in green-and-white jerseys and scarves,
heading up the way, either for home or for a hot
carry out (and they'll be spoilg for choices in
carry-out venues!); the car-wash dudes at the
old BP garage venue; and, at night, we even
see foxes running across the road! Hiding from
humans, scurrying from being noticed or potentially
an HGV running them over!
Then we see them, just behind where
the main road ascends up a slight hill, but fully
visible for everybody to see; even from as far as
West George Street when its a nice day:
pair of tower blocks. Comprising of many inside,
high and low, top to bottom. They can see us
walking past, two little dots. Or at least they
can see me! My walking partner next to me
is only visible in another tower of his own,
right next to their own. And they put Him there.
I even put Him there.
We walk along some more together: apartments
being made up; chippies gone for good; mixtures
of kids in tracksuits, builders in construction gear,
men walking their pooches and dormant shopping
trollies left to the side, with rubbish inside them.
The biddies musn't have bins inside! Then again,
neither must half this road's population, for
council workers spend as much time here as
my walking partner, trying to cleanse and rid
this road of desecration, defamation, defecation
and demotivation; in turn blessing it with
determination, definition and declaration.
we have to duck little neds winging stones
from behind the railings of the sports park
next to the school. Instead of a four-lettered
curse, my walking partner covers my mouth, in
turn saying, "Bless you my sons! Go forth
and sin no more". Then the hostel, in all
its glory, stands afresh with odours, images and
sounds of empathy, (in some cases) sympathy,
(more often than not) confusion and (in a twisted
way) curisoity. Perhaps one day, they'll be invited
with the neds and our fellow tower-block
comrades, for my walking partner has passed by
but He doesn't pass them by.
"Are we nearly there yet?" I ask. "Why didn't
we just take the bus?" Like a disciple of the
biblical sort, I didn't fully get it, until a
corner came for me to turn: new apartments
already built, in the shadow of older buildings
with longer histories, more familiar stories, images,
sounds and emissions of their own trademark.
Now there stands a big gate, where fortunate
people in this area have passed through and they
get by comfortably, without a trace of hassle.
My walking partner says to me, "Aren't we going
to pass by them either?" I said. "No need,
they've made their way through a big gate - the
others still have to." He wasn't going to pass
them by: "Bless each one of you, the invitation
is open". I was amazed, somewhat overwhelmed
but more appreciative of it all.
pass Bain Street, pubs and other merchants of
a carnal nature. Passionate people going about
their business, interjecting into their community
with support and enthusiasm. Fair play to them!
At this point, the road splits in two....
I turn round to ask another question and
He's gone; out of visual sight. Yet, I can
still feel His presence. He's still holding my
hand, keeping me from danger, acting as my
shield, myhelmet, my immunity from bodily
harm in one of Glasgow's more cinematic
neck of the woods.
"Can you spare some change,
son?" No. "You got a light on you?" No.
"Looking for business?" You're doing this for
badness, aren't you. "They don't know what
they're doing", He says. "Pass by them but
don't pass them by. "This road will be cleansed,
the people have been blessed, and will all you
and me up here." They put him on that third
tower, yet I'm hardly any different.
Should I walk back or take the bus? It
matters not, without slight or major, for
perfection in His eyes is different from mine.