I just about negotiated the stairs; the inner courtyard of the housing scheme from whence I emerged was another matter and I added quite considerably to the pebbledash effect of the grey walls. With one long street to the station, nothing much could go wrong navigationally but physically I was crumbling.
Now I could see, long in the distance, the elderly lady slowly making her way towards me, her tartan tinted trolley replete with the morning’s shop. Greasy pies and flat sausage, stale rolls petrified by the bitter breeze that blew off the North Sea. That breeze brought freedom, it brought opportunity. It also brought the heavy team off the rigs for the two-week rotation and thus the hoors were out in force.
Port Aberdeen. I promised myself I would never, ever return.
In the meantime I had bigger problems. This old dear was inching ever closer while the volatile combination in my stomach was inching ever higher. At the time the Asda meat feast pizza had seemed a fantastic idea, and with great aplomb I chomped through the pork gristle and plastic cheese only to be reminded of the miracles of partial digestion mere minutes later. I could see her eyes now, slightly confused about what I was doing out at this early hour on a Sunday, but still kindly, still wanting to engage and find out why I wasn’t wearing a coat.
Why the fuck wasn’t I wearing a coat? It was December in North East Scotland, I was fucking freezing, even walking with a slight limp from where one of my nads had disappeared irretrievably into my torso. It wasn’t coming out for love nor money.
“dreich mornin’ son”
That was all she said. She was gearing up for another slice of vernacular when I unleashed the spectacular right back at her. The timing couldn’t have been worse. Years of abuse had wizened my aim and though I left an orange tinted (the earlier cheese) crescent across Willowbank Road, heading east, her trolley remained largely untouched, bar the collateral splatter. I didn’t wait to find out what she would say next; I just ran, wild youthful exuberance pumping. This all came crashing down when I reached the one-way system by the station and vomited again. I began to get the feeling that, perhaps, I wasn’t very well.
Those were the days, the girls, the parties and the limitless promise of the open road. I say the open road but I really mean the A90 southbound, traffic permitting at the Stracathro services. But what made it all great was the music. The clubland superstars that defined and redefined the music of the early 90’s had been moving slowly north and now found a home in the fertile lands of Scotland’s east coast. From Forfar’s Club One to Zee’s in Stonehaven, one could find those storied names of ages, usually off their tits, one hand on the decks with the other nestled in the pants of some slapper whose skin was the same colour as a cheese Dorito. The scene died when Basshunter got done for rape in Kirkcaldy.
So it was me and the Gus, an old pal from an old life, journeying to take in some of the finest experiences that Aberdeen had to offer.
The finger of expectation.
Nobody danced in the clubs, per se. There was more to it than that. Generic beats generated the sweating masses into one singular entity, throbbing in time with the subwoofer because the sound system was too shit to hear anything else. That and everyone – and I mean everyone – was fucked on 0.69p doubles: bargain. So the tunes flowed and we all jumped in time to “Sandstorm” or “Encore une Fois” or whatever. When the inevitable “drop” came the roof fell off the place, quite literally in some places where the VIP section sagged closer and closer to the public area.
Then came the finger of expectation, as one the revellers would raise the index finger of their right hands in unison, pushing the imaginary buttons that controlled the next “drop”. I had lost the Gus, who had disappeared with a romantic flurry muttering something through the strobe and heavy bass. I manage to catch the words “urinal and “girl” and then he was gone into the night, or the staff bogs, I wasn’t quite sure. So, I was alone amidst the pulsating throng, alone, lost and happier than I had ever been. That was when I saw her. The girl of my dreams, I think.
The tune was Coco Jambo by Mr President. 14 years later it was still doing the business. We don’t speak, we just go. Tongues all over the fucking place. She grabs my cock – awesome – and starts the old “Deeside polish” right there in the middle of the dance floor. A brief look over my shoulder would confirm that I was not the only chap experiencing this bliss. The finger of expectation falls from on high, crashing into her pants like the cormorants in the bay just beyond the away stand at Pittodrie. Consistency and odour were not much to write home about, considering the fact that she had been on the Guinness and Irn Bru WKDs, but I didn’t care, nobody did and nobody would. After a couple of minutes we were both running out of steam.
“Ah’m needin a pish” She said.
“Ok” I say.
This was the only snippet of dialogue we had before she traipsed off to the ladies, barefoot. Goodbye Aphrodite: of all the bars in all the world you had to be here. It was fate, plus the fact that I had been denied entry to both Liquid and Tiger Tiger.
I was trying to work out if I had enough dosh for a Greggs in the station plaza. The shop assistant asked me how I was. I respond,
“I’ve been worse.”
And that was true, to an extent. At least I wasn’t in hospital or jail. I had freedom and liberty. Unfortunately I was 27p short of a chicken bake. I had to settle for a sausage roll. Liberty be damned the thieving bastards!
I manage to get on the train.
Somewhere between Montrose and Arbroath my stomach began doing strange things again. That’s what drinking a litre of Glens will do for you.
“I gotta fart” I thought.
Subtly does it though: this was a busy carriage, maybe even commuter time as the service sped southwards to Dundee.
Up on one arse cheek and I try, sweating with concentration and booze, to let it out quiet. All to no avail. The thunderous rumble came on way too quick – and really fucking loud. The lady definitely heard me across the way and now she stared, spitefully.
“I swear that’s never happened to me before”, falls on deaf ears. As I slink back into my seat I get the feeling that all is not well, indeed something is rotten in the state of Angus and it isn’t the Scotrail bacon bap (though they didn’t help). It was at this point I realised I had crapped myself, fairly extensively.
Consistency wasn’t much to write home about, a seven on the Bristol stool chart if you follow it, epic diarrhoea if you don’t. Molten black liquid piped directly from the gates of hell. The smell is indescribable; you had to be there, man, and I was.
I sat back down and waited for the train change at Dundee.
John Wayne-gait out of the compartment after everybody has left the carriage, I straddle the platform, desperately trying to keep it all together – literally. Mercifully there is a bench across the way. As I sit down, the other two occupants immediately up and leave, which I suppose is fair enough. Two acquaintances of mine are on the platform too. Sadly they amble over to me.
“Smells terrible here”, one says. The other agrees.
“It was me.” I say
“Nah, shat self.”
I leave it at that, then they leave too. The train’s coming, thank fuck. The phone rings, it’s the Gus. Same again next month? You can count on it.
Cover image courtesy of Ralph Thomson via Flickr