Quantum Govanhill

One image of two similar looking buildings at Shawlands cross and Eglinton toll in Glasgow

So I drank ten cans and lay on the couch and looked out the window at a cold sky, a low sky, hollow somehow, and suddenly I realised that Govanhill is me and I am Govanhill and neither of us really exists.

It’s a nightmare, a quantum nightmare.

I didn’t really know what I was talking about so I decided to drink more cans instead.

Be yourself, they say. But it’s not that easy if you’re a fictional narrator, a fake character, a false man, a made-up guy.

There’s nothing real about me at all, and that’s the truth.

No genuine emotions, no truthful movements, no proper connection with the rest of humanity.

It’s a nightmare, a quantum nightmare.

But these cans taste good and that’s a fact, quantum or not, so I lay back down and started thinking about who am I and who is Govanhill and if we’re both truly being as good as we can be.

Am I the best version of my authentic self, or is someone else being me, someone who passed an exam, won a contest, with the top prize the chance to be me? Aye, right.

And is Govanhill really the best it can be, or is Polmadie, Shawlands Cross or Eglinton toll better at being Govanhill instead?

It’s a nightmare, a quantum nightmare.

More Govanhills, other Govanhills yet to be invented.

More languages, extra colour, louder women, fatter blokes.

It’s confusing, I know.

But blame the universe, not me.

Because Govanhill is me and I am Govanhill and neither of us really exists.

And if I invented Govanhill then I also invented Castlemilk Drive and Drumoyne Circus, Balmore Road and Mosspark Boulevard, Cumberland Street and Knightswood Avenue.

It’s a nightmare, a quantum nightmare.

If only there was a place, an imaginary place, an imaginary city, not as real as Govanhill but a parallel universe, an alternative reality, a different dimension where I’m a different person, a better person, less of an asshole, because I made different choices, better ones.

My head hurts.

But this is Govanhill, no two ways about it, quantum or not, so I opened another can and phoned my brother and he asked me how I was doing. Glad you asked, I said. Paranoid eyebrows, bipolar shoulders, schizophrenic shoes and a growing sense of dread at the impossible search for meaning in a desperate Godless universe of never-ending trauma and struggle. You?


Keep it light, Govanhill.



6 thoughts on “Quantum Govanhill

  1. Who knew Govanhill was a metaphor for existential angst! (Yeah, I know, I read that in a book once!) It’s a great piece, Peter. Here’s another thought – you and Govahill are like Monet and the water lilies!

    Liked by 1 person

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