My Journey – Part 2

Continued from Part 1…

I kept myself occupied with numerous visits to the toilet or a wander along the corridor. What I really wanted was to tell everyone about this journey I was on, I thought they might realise that I was a budding train driver. But all the passengers were either reading newspapers or had their heads lolling about fast asleep.

These passengers were still oblivious to this budding train driver as we drew into Glasgow Station. That was their loss, I thought as I left the carriage.

As a young boy ,Glasgow felt strange, everyone was in a hurry. It wasn’t until I managed to stop about the third or fourth passing person, that I managed to get directions to St. George square. These people had places to go, places to be and I was just another obstacle in their way. Never mind, I had managed directions and as luck would have it my destination was not far from the station.

With time on my hands I thought I would look for the address I wanted, and then have a look see what went on in the area. Maybe not! it was cold and a fine drizzle soon found its way onto my shirt collar. Truly I wasn’t dressed properly for the kind of day it turned out to be, and my coat was still on the coat peg in the porch back at home. I had pretended not to hear my mother’s last command “Take your coat or you will get your catch your death.”  I was a grown lad, and did not need such a thing as a coat. Although right now I got the feeling I might be wrong?

I found the number I was looking for and trying to look as if I belonged there, I climbed the few steps, turned the door knob and pushed my way inside. What a relief, it was twenty degrees warmer in here and I gave a great shiver, not that I would admit to being cold or anything but that hallway at that moment was heaven.

A lady came down the stairs and looked quizzically in my direction. “Can I help?” She enquired.

My first reaction was to head for the door, but it was warm in here so I quietly replied.” I am looking for the Doctor.”

Scrabbling for the letter in my pocket I tried to hold it to my chest with one hand while trying in vain to brush the creases out with the other. Taking the envelope, the lady turned, and as she turned she pointed at a number of chairs at the bottom of the stairs,” have a seat and I will see if the doctor is free.”

She was gone only a few minutes, on her return she told me that although I was early the Doctor would see me before he went for lunch. With that communication delivered, she disappeared back upstairs. When she returned she had her overcoat over her arm. As she passed me I received a half smile and a “good luck.” as the outside door closed behind her.

This waiting malarkey did not sit well with me, and in a couple of minutes I started to fidget, then raising from the chair I wandered to the bottom of the stairs, looking up and wondering what was up there. A quiet voice came out of the blue taking me by surprise; I had not heard the door to the Doctors room open. “George Scott?” The question was obviously directed at me. Taken a little unaware I must have stammered a little. “YYYYes Sir”.  I managed.

“This way my lad.” I was a little amazed as he held the door open and allowed me passed into what reminded me of my own Doctors surgery, smelling of medicine and tobacco. All Doctors surgeries must be like this! The thought came and went in an instant.

No messing about, the Doctor must have been hungry and wanted away for his lunch, another new word, to me it was known as dinner, but what did I know? “Come over here and stand with your back against the wall.”

Following his instructions I did just that. I hadn’t noticed the piece of wood protruding from the wall and as I leaned against it he slid the wood down until it rested on my head. “OK you can sit down.”

As I joined the chair, he wrote something in a file in front of him. “Any illness in the last few years?” he asked.  I hadn’t a clue so replied “None that I can remember sir.” I was answering as if replying to a teacher’s question when at school. Something that would take some time to devolve myself from.

The next question it wasn’t really a question at all, it was an order and took me a bit by surprise, “Stand up, take your shirt off and drop your trousers.”

What was all this about? the thought jumped into my head. I was more than a little embarrassed, but did as requested. The Doctor came around the desk taking his stethoscope from around his neck he proceeded to listen to various parts of my back. Then it was the turn of my chest. Finished there he placed his cold hand on my nether regions and told me to cough. Till this day I am not sure what he was looking for but it must have been there because his next word were “Right, get dressed.” I had no idea how quickly I could put on a shirt and trousers, but it would have been a record if I hadn’t managed to fasten trouser buttons to shirt and vice versa. Never mind, the Doctor was obviously not finished.

Stand up straight, toe on that mark, he pointed to a white line on the lino. Look at the chart on the wall lad and read from the top line as far down the letters as you can. I don’t remember how far down I got before he said “That’s fine.” He handed me what looked like a small ping pong bat. Cover one eye and then read down as far as you can. Following instructions I did just that and when I had arrived at the last letter, he said now the other eye if you don’t mind.

“OK, That’s it for now” I will be sending my findings to Kingmoor, but I can tell you that everything is as it should be. Good afternoon”.

I was out in the cold once again and without thinking I was heading for the railway station, still wondering why I had to cough?

I was back at Glasgow central, back among the smoke and steam, back to the harsh tanoy sounds that I was still positive no one understood or cared about. Masses of people milling about, some looking for the right train, others waiting to meet relatives and so on and so on. Just coming into the main entrance was a Buffet, pronounced “buffit” back then, a little unsure, I gazed through the glass door before tentatively putting my shoulder to it. Better look as if I should be here, I headed for the counter.

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