My Last Day In Glasgow
Even though I love Glasgow, I have so many reasons to go, but not enough reasons to stay. The removal men collected my possessions, leaving me pacing around in the empty flat. Then I wandered around the city, reminding myself how beautiful it is – something that surprised everyone who visited.
Fighting my decision, I went to Mono, my refuge. Halfway through my pasta, the removal man calls. This time he’s talking like a cheap extra on Taggart. With a tone of focused malice, he demands an £150 above his written quote for ‘heavier than expected boxes’, or he will dump my belongings on the pavement. None of his porters had mentioned a problem, but when I indignantly refuse, he calls me a silly girl, and hangs up. He sounds really nasty, and a bit mad.
The following morning, I called the police. They aren’t keen to get involved, but when I pointed out his attempt at extortion, they visit him and explain the error of his ways. Later he calls wanting to sort things out with ‘nae trouble’. I won’t pay him any more money. I don’t have any more money.
Adrian, who may well have been the best landlord in the world, arrived to scrub the flat in hospital detail. He’s very conscientious, and even cleaned behind the cooker. That’s the measure of the man.
Next day, I woke up with the worst ever hangover anyone ever had at all, ever. The reason was Wendy, and her evil '...why not have a whisky?' and then the lovely Nigel and Mono people who said the same. It would have been churlish to refuse. Still drunk, I ran a bath, and tried to move the last minute washing hung to dry on the line above me, but clumsily knocked most of it in the water. Unable to fit dripping linen into my luggage, I could only throw some of my favourite clothes away. It’s sunny on Gallowgate and the monstrous, landlubbing seagulls are as freaky as ever.
The taxi arrived. (Somebody stop me. I want to stay.) As with taxi drivers in Manchester, Glaswegian cabbies are dry in their humour. 'So you're leaving here then?' I am asked, dourly. 'Its seems that way…' (I want to stay.) 'Why?' ''I don't know. Didn't really work out,' (I wish I could stay.)'Glasgow's a dark city,' he continued.'I love it here.' I said righteously fuming at the lack of appreciation for his hometown. We drive through the Merchant City, the grand buildings once tobacco warehouses and now home to apartments (not flats, never flats) and so many bars and restaurants. The taxi man is determined to make his point.'No it's dark, and cold, and there's a bad side...the young men are in trouble. There's fighting and stabbing, and drugs. So many suicides. No work. The weather's horrible. A very dark place.'
I want to stay. I just can't find the willpower to ask him to turn the cab around and save me from the train that's taking me away from this fantastic city.
So, I’m on my way to Brighton, the beach and uncertainty. Meanwhile a wannabe gangster is holding all my worldly goods to ransom.