Brothers in Arms.

My brother turns 50 today.  How does life always fool us into imagining that time is infinite?

One reason may be that it seems like yesterday when my two brothers were playing the lego formula one game in the front bedroom.  Funnily enough, Alan Jones was my brother’s favourite driver.  He fixed that lego game to ensure that Jones won.  Scalextric tracks in the attic, where Alan Jones from Australia was winning again.  Blue pillowcases and unknown Christmas presents.  It later transpired that our Australian adventurer had already found all of them.  Funnily enough, in the attic and other assorted hiding places.

Another reason may be that life doesn’t assume that memory will last forever.  Nothing is unforgettable or significant unless it is spoken and shared.  Unfortunately, I will have to share that Flock of Seagulls record that my brother loved and the whole 1980’s pop culture that he decried.  Why?  He was journeying down the Telegraph Road with Knopfler.  I liked Human League, Tiffany and the Bangles.  Whoops!!!  My brother invited me to the land of Rock.  I listened to Band of Brothers on the old turntable, about 1000 times.  Interestingly, this knowledge allowed me to score a pointless answer on that Pointless TV show that everyone loves or doesn’t.  I was absolutely obsessed by an musical compilation album called Impressions in 1987, one that included Knopfler.  My brother got it for me and then he went and scored the ultimate success by queuing to get me The Joshua Tree cassette on the night of release.  Jeez!!!  That was an amazing album.  When I heard ‘Where the Streets have No Name,’ I hadn’t heard anything like it.  I bought a trench coat and a waist coat that never fitted.  (funnily enough, it still doesn’t fit.  I still have it.)  For some reason, I then went into my Guns and Roses and Metallica phase.  Point is.  When we were travelling through the snow to watch Larry Norman, we didn’t expect our memories to last forever.  But, they have.  Spoken and shared.

Thirdly, we didn’t share as much time as we wanted to with our brother Gareth.  We all had our legendary fights with him.  Darryl thought it would be a good idea to throw a snooker cue at his head.  He was Steve Davis.  We were Alex Higgins and Jimmy White.  In our imagination.  Nevertheless, in those days of him being an eejit and Darryl being so sensible, we thought that these moments, while forgotten, would be remembered together.  And.  They are.  While I went through my complete meltdown and everybody gave me endless space,  I think that we all arrived at the same place.  Eventually.  I know that Darryl was essential in making that a reality.  Right enough.  I used to love playing tennis.  That was until I played Darryl with his spin serves.  One day in Lisburn, I got so annoyed, I started to aim my serves at his head.  That was a bit unfortunate.  It also ended my tennis career.

Time slowed.  Time healed.  We travelled.  Australia was amazing.  We did the whole boat thing in Brisbane and saw where he was born, chased a few banana trees and toasted the birth of Keelin in Cairns.  We got a bit ‘toasted’ on the way out, due to Japan Airlines being so fantastic and got talking to some bloke who was hoping to find a shower in Tokyo.  He and his wife found the shower.  We collapsed and got ready for the next leg on Japan Airlines.  Goodness.  1999 ended my brief encounter with the high life.  That was an amazing trip.  We had one epic fight in Cairns.  New Zealand was incredible.  We met Andrew, munching on his sushi in Christchurch.  New York, New York, the Yankees and San Francisco and everything else in between.  I imagine that we have had a few epic fights here and there.  I am not mentioning the legendary argument that we had in Paisley.  He completely misunderstood what I was saying.

If life does always try to fool us into believing that time is infinite, I imagine that it fools the memory into believing that life’s movement is motionless.  Nevertheless, the memories we have are emotion(full) and are as lasting as the steps we take.  Memories really do last forever, despite the fact that we have no control of the passing of time.

That was a slightly more complicated way of wishing my brother a Happy 50th Birthday!!!  I have a lot more to say.




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