Part Two: New Orleans or Bust
Mind, this is the important fuckin point here. Ah wis freein the car, no stealin her. Ah wis lettin Janis’s spirit free on the American highways, no stealin any part ov the woman’s (or the car’s ) soul. Frae that conversation on Ah wis plottin how Ah would set her free. Morals and the Law be damned, that beautiful car wantit tae be free, it jist needed the right eejit tae dae it! Step forward Keri MacFarlane, you are that eejit!
Anyway, we flew in tae New York a coupla months after Auntie Maggie’s money landit in
mah bank account. We did the whole New York thing tae, frae John Lennon’s memorial in Central Park tae CBGB’s. We wantit tae feel the vibe from the city that never sleeps.
Ah remember watchin’ Biohazard at the Garage in Glesca when Ah was a Teenager, remember seein’ Billy Graziadei talkin tae a homeless lassie sellin the Big Issue on the Sauchiehall Street while we waitit tae git in. While seeing them again at CBGB’S was pretty phenomenal, it wis no the same as it had been in Glesca, cos Billy wisnae as fuckin eatable as he had been when we had seen him afore. Ov course, that wis cos the puir man wis older, but we were feelin bitchy that night and the intervening years countit fur nothin tae us!
Ah ended up standin at the bar at some point in the evenin oan mah ain cos Ami wis sniffin’ round a coupla cute boys. She’d recognised them frae Kerrang, they were in an English band that wis tourin America and they had a night off to pairty in the Big Apple. It wis a bit like old times back at the Barras wi Ami gettin her claws intae some boys tae get us back stage. She wis always better at that than me. Anyway, Ah’m leaning over the bar ordering another round ov Black Toothed Grins frae the barman, who gies me looks like Ah shouldnae be drinkin something so deadly, then there’s this voice behind me.
“I’m sure I recognise you from somewhere,” he says, and Ah turn round tae tell him that that is a shite pick up line and find masel staring at a fuckin tasty lookin man. And he’s right too, cos Ah have met him before. Years ago, at the Barras, on a night when Ami deployed her skills tae get us to the backstage pairty and Ah ended up in bed wi him. Oh yum, he’s no Billy Graziadei, Ah mean, he’s no aged like Billy has. Ah’d better drop mah accent a bit.
“Oh yeah, you should recognise me, although maybe not with so many clothes on,” Ah tell him wi’ an evil smile. His eyes are almost black. Ah’m such a sucker for that, my shitey ex had really black eyes too.
“You’re Scottish, I remember you. Keri isn’t it?” Oh, he remembers me. This might be a
fun night after aw.
“It’s been more than ten years. I must have made a good impression,” Ah’m smiling like
the Cheshire fuckin cat now. He’s smilin back at me an aw. Score wan tae me. Ah’ve no lost it then.
“Yeah, you made a good impression. Let me get you a drink and we can talk about it,” he replies, his eyes glinting in a very promising kind ov way.
Just then Ami appears wi a cute boy on each arm. They look so young and so drunk already. Baby rock stars, so sweet. Ah don’t think they know what they are lettin themselves in fur wi Ami. If she’s brought wan fur me, she can keep him. Ah’ve got ma ain. She figures this out wi no more than a questioning look and a glance his way. She throws me a big grin.
“Ma boys here know a pairty tae gaun to. Fancy joining us?” she asks. Ah don’t need to look at him to know the answer.
“Naw, we’ve got some catchin up to do. I’ll see you in the mornin, hon,”
She drops the boys and gies me a quick hug before headin off wi them. Am Ah worried about her gone off wi them on her ain? Naw, she’s a big girl and there’s no much Ah think she cannae handle. I turn my attention back tae Mr Dark Eyes. His long black hair is twisted intae cornrows, which isnae usually appealing tae me, but he suits it.
“What are you drinking then?” he asks me.
“Blacktooth Grin, ta,” Ah tell him wi another evil smile. He winces at the name, but it’s nae wonder. It’s a double ov Wild Turkey, a double ov JD and a dash ov coke. The drink is fuckin legendary, it wis Pantera’s cocktail an Ah drink it in memory ov Dimebag Darryl, the guitarist, who inventit it. Ah drank a few wi the Dime back when Pantera played Glesca, the man wis a legend. Ah cried fur hours the day he was murdered.
So we drink and talk and then head back tae the hotel. He’s still there when Ami comes rollin in late the next mornin. It wis a great night she tells me, and Ah hav tae agree wi her.
New York wis guid, but we were champin at the bit tae get tae Cleveland. Ami wisnae so sure ov my plan tae take a can full ov petrol in wi us tae get Janis’s car gaun, but I couldnae see any way around that problem. Ah hid it in ma rucksack, and though they geid me shifty looks when we went through all the bullshit they do at these places, they didnae find it though. Mibbe that wis fate.
Fuck me the car wis mair gorgeous in real life than it wis in pictures. We did the whole place Hall Of Fame properly afore we got to the car, we looked at aw the exhibits, and we spent ages mullin over the 500 songs they reckon are the most important. Nae fuckin Pantera or Black River in that list though. In fact, it wis awmost hours before we got tae the car.
The car, oh my fuckin god the car. She’s sitting outside, looking over one ov the great lakes and no goin anywhere. As soon as we get near her Ah literally can feel how much she wants to drive. It’s like a thrummin in mah veins and a tingle in mah muscles, aw ov it drawin me towards her. She disnae want tae sit here lookin at the Lakes, she wants tae be burnin up the fuckin road! She’s so beautiful too, the paintwork is amazing, psychedelic, sexy, and somehow so fuckin Janis. Ah have to liberate her, Ah cannae leave her here just looking out over the water! Ah walk right up tae her and touch her. She feels like she’s hummin, like the engine is purrin silently under the hood. It gies me a wee shock as Ah’m no expectin it. Ah step back and look her over, cautious like, so Ami comes up behind me wi a curious expression.
“Whit’s up?” she asks me.
“Nothin’,” Ah tell her, hidin my surprise cos Ah know she’ll think Ah’ve completely lost it. Ah step forward and touch her again. She’s definitely vibratin, but, of course, the engine is definitely no runnin. Yet. Ah look around, checkin for the security staff, checkin the gate Ah’m gonnae drive her through. It’s no locked, Ah guess they reckon the CCTV everywhere and the guards are good enough, which seems reasonable really, Except that they didnae factor in that the car wants tae escape, that it is as determined as me to get out ov that place and run free. Naebody is lookin our way, naebody is payin any heed to the two wee wimmin frae Glesca who are runnin their paws all over the Porsche. Ma hands find the door handle on the driver’s side, it opens wi a very satisfying thunk. Naebody else hears apart frae Ami, who grins across that gleaming bonnet at me.
“You ready Keri?” She asks me. Mah heart is pumpin so hard it’s makin mah vision shake. Mah blood is swimmin wi adrenaline. Oh Ah’m ready all right. Ah nod at her and pull open the driver door.
Keep an eye out next week for Part Three of Pearls On The Road.