on glory

I’ve seen glory in Berlin. They keep their streets clean there despite the odd graffiti. They speak English there because why not. They remember their past because leaflets line the streetlamps saying Fuck The AFD. They remember their past because ruins grab rudely toward the sky alongside chrome towers, because the fruits of war need to be seen as much as the fruits of peace.

I’ve seen glory in Edinburgh. Headstones and plaques praising her famous sons litter the streets. They throw up statues to so many local luminaries you feel like Paul at Athens. They read and read and read in that city, and they love to learn. They talk to their homeless, and they trudge through the morning mist and the cold when anyone sane would just stay in bed, at home.

I’ve seen glory in Hong Kong. We would, all of us mates, go out for sushi or burgers or chasiu fan and look forward to a night of laughing at each other, bitching and moaning about our bosses, and getting in each other’s way and being in each other’s lives, knowing that mom and dad were safe at home watching tv, sister or cousin were OTing – the poor sods – and knowing that the people around us were honest folks who wouldn’t swindle or mug us. We would go home safely and go to work the next day.

I miss that third kind of glory the most. I’ll see it again. The politicians, ideologues, thugs, and emperors may have their way for now but life will come back. It always does despite it all. I hope I’ll be around to see it.

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