Part One: New Orleans or Bust
If Ah said we didnae really hav a clue why we decided tae do it, then that would definitely
be true. Ah know part ov it wis boredom. Mahsel, Ah felt like mah life was grindin tae a halt
anaw mah best years were behind me. Which at thirty fuckin four jist isnae right. Ami, mah
best pal in the whole world, wis the same. We’d been runnin the gither since we were
teenagers, gettin up tae all kinds ov crazy shit, but then we’d baith got tangled up wi’ men that
screwed us up. We baith ended up dying inside as housewives, hatin’ our lives, our men and
ourselves. Things happened in our 20’s. We drifted apart a bit. We stopped sharin’ all our
pain the gither. Our men stood in our way and it felt like bein buried alive.
Ah remember wakin up wan mornin with the radio blarin out Janis Joplin’s Piece of My
Heart. Ah kind ov lay there, wi my eyes open, feeling like Ah wis hearin this ghost from the
past speakin straight to mah soul and Ah jist realised that Ah couldnae do it any mair. Ah
wisnae the person Ah used tae be, Ah wisnae a happy person at aw and Ah suddenly saw
whit the fuck Ah wis up tae.
By then, Ami wis already livin on her ain. Her man had ditched her for something
younger and less angry a couple ov years before, so when Ah got up outta bed that mornin
and got mah bag packed before that fuckin lazy bastard even opened his eyes, it wis Ami’s
doorstep Ah wis headin for. Before Ah left, Ah drained the last bottle ov whiskey in the
house dry so that lazy shite would hav to gaun and get his ain when he got up. It wis the
bitterest fuckin liquid breakfast Ah ever had.
So it wis that Ah turned up on Ami’s doorstep, reekin ov whiskey and cryin my fuckin
eyes out. Ah felt mair lost than ever, even though it wis probably the smartest fuckin thing
Ah’d done in years. She didnae say anythin, she jist let me in and made me a strong cup ov
coffee. Then she listened, for hours, while Ah poured out mah heart like the fuckin drunk Ah
wis, wailin’ and gnashing mah teeth and callin’ that bastard every shitey wurd Ah could think
ov. When she wis sure Ah wis done, she got up and put on aw the loudest, hardest, heaviest
music she had in the house, so we ended up jumping aroun like a pair o daft teenagers,
heidbangin and screamin tae aw the music we’d loved back when we really were teenagers.
That was such a fuckin’ release, screamin alang tae Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in
the Name” and Pantera’s “Fucking Hostile” like we were at the Barras again in the mosh pit.
It was cathartic.
But that wisnae when we decided tae dae it. That wis only when we baith started again,
when we baith decided that we couldnae keep on livin’ stuck in the same shite groove we’d
been in for mair than ten years. Ah moved in wi Ami. The prick that Ah’d been livin wi’ tried
a coupla times tae change mah mind, but wi two ov us it wis easy tae tell him tae get tae fuck.
No, it wisnae until mah Auntie Maggie passed away that we decided tae dae it. Ah’d
become obsessed wi Janis’s life, but we’d also jist gone through a big stage ov rereading
Anne Rice’s Vampire books. Ah think that wis cuz we were sick ov all the Sparkly Vampire
shite that wis bein churned out. Ye know, the Twilight books and fuckin Sookie Stackhouse
(the TV series is wan ov the very few that is better than the books, though that wouldnae be
hard). Don’t get me fucking started on Anita Blake, fuckin dirty slut that cannae make up her
fuckin mind. Naw, Lestat wis, and is, the only vampire for us.
So when Ah got a dirty great big cheque in Auntie Maggie’s will we decided almost
straight away we wanted tae go on a road trip ov the places that Lestat had been in America.
New Orleans wis a place baith ov us had wanted tae visit since we were teenagers readin’
Interview With A Vampire the first time roon. Then Ah found a picture ov Janis’s car and
fell in love. Aw man, that car, it’s beautiful. A Porsche 356 cabriolet that wis decorated fur
her by her roadie. God, it wis an amazin machine, a sports car, the best ov it’s generation, but
painted up tae be like a spirit ov the sixties an Janis, so it was a true beast ov it’s time. Mibbe
mah brain wis fried, mebbe aw the junk and drink had shorted mah circuits, but Ah couldnae
get that fuckin car out ov mah brain. Ah’d fall asleep wi it in mah mind, dream ov it and
wake up thinkin about it. Fuck it, no even Leo Barron frae Black River , ma favourite band
and ma maist perfect man when Ah wis an obsessed teenager had done that tae me, and this
wis jist a fuckin car! The thing that fuckin bothered me the maist wis that it wis sitting at the
Rock and Roll hall ov Fame daen nothin when Ah jist knew, somehow, that it should be
roamin the highways ov America and raisin’ hell in her memory. And the mair Ah thought
about it, the mair Ah wanted tae free the car. Ami thought Ah wis jist bein crazy at first, but
Ah forced her tae watch The Rose, and Ah forced her tae read Pearl, and Ah widnae stop
talkin about it until yin day Ah think she cracked.
“Why don’t ye jist go and ‘free’ the fuckin car yersel?” she telt me. Aunt Maggie’s will
had jist been read and Ah knew Ah had money frae it. We’d already decided tae dae a Lestat
Tour ov America with the money in fact, so her sayin that was the catalyst. Cleveland, Ohio
and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wis already on our fuckin list fur the road trip.
“Free her? Ye reckon?” Ah’d asked back at her, but ma mind wis already made up. That
fuckin car wis mine in mah heid, Ah jist had tae figure out how tae free her.
Keep an eye out next week for Part Two of Pearls On The Road.