Have a Safe Journey

The neon signages of M&S, Primark and Supercuts and a throng of busy midday customers provide today’s writing landscape. The seat and table acting as my penmanship perch provided by a well known coffee house franchise.

For no other reason than ‘because I can’, the dissenter in me spurning use of the cafe’s wifi network for that of a nearby rival food outlet… God, Im such a maverick!

Prior to venturing to the south Leeds shopping centre housing these retail/food outlets, I bode a farewell to my brother Ian.

Ian and my train station goodbye not the romantic farewell Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson afforded each other in the 1945 movie Brief Encounter. Moreover a scene filled with clumsy adieus of two middle aged male kin. Cheerios which included our stepping on each others toes and a slapdash dropping of phone when looking for train tickets.

Using a fair portion of artistic licence, I’ve embellished our kid and my verbal exchanges during that goodbye. As episode playing out as follows:-

Scene – A Sandal/Agbrigg train station platform. Two 50-something brothers (Gary and Ian) bid farewell as Ian’s train crawls slowly into the station. The younger sibling about to embark on the first leg of a hundred mile locomotive journey to Newcastle following a forty eight hour visit to Gary’s Wakefield home.

Following a brotherly bear hug, the following verbal interaction playing out:-

Gary“Have a safe journey, bro.”

Ian “OK, See you soon…. Take care.”

Gary (indignantly) “Are you not going to wish me a safe journey?”

Ian (slightly startled at his brother’s inquiry)“You’re not going on a journey!… Are you?!””

Gary “Yes I am!”

Ian “I thought you said you were going home after you dropped me off!”

Gary“I am,”

Ian (bemused) “Well what the hell are you talking about then?!

Gary“My journey is the drive from here to my apartment.”

Ian (exasperated) “You only live about 800 metres as the crow flies from this train station, Gary… In fact you could’ve walked the trip if you weren’t so lazy!”

Gary – “I don’t care that half mile trek to my flat might be riddled with jeopardy… Statistically that short sojourn in a car is possibly more dangerous than your 100 mile train journey.'”

Ian “I’m not wishing you a safe journey home when you’re driving less than a mile, Gary!”

Gary “Well, I think you should wish me that for any journey I take.”

Ian (heatedly) “Don’t talk bollocks!… You wouldn’t expect me to if you were driving to Halfords car repair shop around the corner from your apartment?!”

Gary (responding confrontationally, mirroring brother’s escalating irk) “Yes I would!… Especially if I was going there for the car’s braking system to be fixed!”

Ian (becoming ever more irritated and distracted) “Well, if your brake system was dodgy you wouldn’t be driving the bloody car at all , you chuffing idiot!”

Gary (unprepared to acknowledge how foolish he was behaving)“I might if was a minor brake fault!”

Ian (despairingly)“Under what circumstances would any brake anomaly make a vehicle still safe to drive?”

Gary (for the first time beginning to realise idiocy of his argument)“Errrr, … I don’t know!”

Stood bickering on the platform with his elder sibling, before continuing to berate his foolish brother, Ian hears the train doors shut. The younger Strachan then catching sight of the locomotive slowly departing the station… Having missed this train through Gary’s silliness, he has now a further half hour wait before embarking on his journey home.

For a few seconds, as he watches his train depart without him, Ian stands open mouthed with exasperation at the stupidity of his brother..

Ian (after turning back to look at Gary, loudly yelling) – “HAVE A SAFE JOURNEY HOME!…. THERE, ARE YOU BLOODY HAPPY NOW!!”

Gary (calmly) – “There you are, it wasn’t that hard to say was it… Manners cost nothing, Ian”

The eldest sibling then turning on his heels for a slow walk to the car park leaving Ian fuming on the platform. The latter’s disenchantment clear to all when his rage causes him to hurl his travel bag to the floor and aggressively kick out at his suitcase.

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