The Party ay the Year (Part Two)
A wave ay noise fae the hall comes floodin in as the door opens an Scanlon an McShane come in. ‘Some fuckin boay him man, int he?’ McShane sais, ‘Where the fuck did he go?’ The absence ay McDade leaves me in nae doubt who they’re talkin aboot.
‘Fuck knows. His auld man’ll part his baws if he sees him in that nick.’ Scanlon sais. ‘There yer there Danny. Thoat ye were gettin the beers in?’
‘Aye, ah um. Ye know Pearcey daint ye? ah sais, steppin oot the waiy, revealin him.
Scanlon stares him doon an its hard tae say if its a deliberate act ay intimidation or if he’s just hauf cut. ‘Fuck sake, Pearcey, so it is! Whit yous two dain in there? Ye gettin the lines oot?’ he sais, breezin by me tae investigate. ‘Here McShane! Get oer here!’ he sais ‘wee Pearcey’s goat a gram, mone check it fur quality assurance.’
He comes in an shuts the door oer. ‘Where’d ye get this fae?’ he sais, haudin the wee bag up, lookin at it, accusingly like he’s a polis or somethin.
‘Just goat it aff a guy ah know.’ Pearcey sais.
‘McNulty.’ McShane sais, as a statement ay fact. ‘ah fuckin knew ah’d seen ye afore. The other day, ye bumped intae me in the close. Dae yersel a favour wee man an staiy away fae that cunt. He’s bad news.’
Ah’m processin whit ah’m hearin an lookin at Pearcey who’s dain his best tae avoid eye contact wae me.
‘Aye, well whit were you dain there well?’ Pearcey pipes up, suddenly. McShane looks at Scanlon an they smile. ‘It’s a long story. Just take it fae me, that cunt is a bad bastart an if he get his claws intae ye. . .’
‘Right, gies that you.’ Scanlon sais, bulldozin Pearcey oot his road, ‘this isnae gonae arrange itsel intae lines, ya cunt.’ he pours the gram oot oantae the cistern an fucks it intae four lines, greedily snortin wan up afore gien the note tae Pearcey. ‘Get that doon ye son.’ he sais tae him.
‘That wis tae last me aw night. . .’ Pearcey meekly protests afore takin the note aff him.
‘Away ye go ya cunt, ye’ll get wan back. Fuckin proper lines get dished oot if yer in oor company.’ Scanlon sais wae conviction.
Stevie filled us in oan his situation wae McNulty; how he’d ran up five grand worth ay debt wae him an wis workin fur him noo tae paiy it aff. Some fuckin bother tae get yersel intae aw the same, nae danger. He disnae strike ye as the sort ay cunt tae get embroiled in that sort ay grief. He’s goat an air ay confidence aboot him that belies his predicament.
He batters oot another line each fur us aw fae a bag he whips oot his poakit an it becomes apparent where the confidence comes fae.
A surge ay dopamine races through me, an ah’m in a state ay hyper-alertness, scannin every cunts’ face as they contribute tae the fuckin tide ay nonsense bein spoken.
Scanlon’s pupils ur huge; black holes wae their ain gravity pullin at me, an he stares right intae the core ay ma bein, it seems, when he’s talkin, pure intense as fuck. Ah’m startin tae get para that ah’m starin at him, or mare precisely, the wee bit ay white foam that’s formin roon the side ay his mooth. It becomes ma only abidin thought, tae the extent ah cannae properly register whit’s bein sais. Conscious ay it, ah keep lookin away fae him, eyes fleetin aboot the place.
Ah’ve hud a line ay gear afore but it wisnae like this. A cunt wis dishin it oot at a hoose we ended up in oer Finnieston waiy last year efter the dancin wan night. Must’ve been fuckin speed.
A cunt that’s been loiterin aboot the sinks comes oer an attempts tae ingratiate himsel tae Scanlon who’s enthusiastically rackin mare lines up oan the cistern whilst simultaneously haudin court in the debate. ‘. . .an a telt the cunt, “if Jörg Albertz isnae the best attackin midfielder in Scotland, then ah don’t know who is?” an know whit he sais? . .’ he sais.
‘The Hammer! Some player man, right enough. That a wee bit ay ching yous boays ur intae there, eh?’ the loiterer sais.
‘Correct! He is some player. Aye it is, an naw, ye cannae huv wan.’ Scanlon sais, waeoot avertin his gaze an kerries oan wae whit he wis sayin, ‘He sais, “Morten Wieghorst!” Kin ye believe that? bead rattlin bastart! Sorry lads, nae offence if yies ur Jungle Jims or that but there’s nae fuckin arguments, Albertz takes it every fuckin time, know whit ah’m sayin?’ the cunt looks like he’s gonae try another approach efter the swift rebuttal, but lookin roon the four ay us - wild eyed an unhinged lookin - he thinks better ay it, an slinks away, oot the door tae the hall, a blast ay Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond sweepin oer us as the door opens an swiftly shuts.
He’s the first ay a few tae either dae the same, or gie us a disapprovin look fur staunin roon the cubicle gibberin fuckin nonsense, an soon the decision’s made tae head back intae the hall tae the bar.
‘Another four pints ay lager, an four sambucas please hen.’ ah sais, buoyant fae the gear.
‘Who ye callin hen ya cheeky wee bastart?’ the barmaid, who looks tae be in her early thirties sais, wae a scowl.
‘Hink yer in there wee man.’ Scanlon sais.
‘Na, she’s too auld fur a young buck like me, you’re welcome tae her.’ ah sais, defiantly.
‘Young buck? Is that no whit you were boltin fae the other week an this cunt － this cunt here hud tae come an save ye fae. Must’ve been terrifyin right enough.’ McShane sais, sarcastically puttin his airm roon McDade who’s come back doon slightly, save fur his inane grin.
The danceflair is hoachin noo as the flowin alcohol makes its influence known. There’s three generations ay the McDade clan an their affiliates gaun mental tae that Encore Une Fais by Sash. Trisha McDade waves oer at us fae the midst ay the drunken troupe.
‘Here McDade, huv ye seen Pearcey yet? He wis wae us in the toilet. He hud a bit ay gear that he goat aff that McNulty. He’s no actin himsel.’ ah sais.
‘He’s goat gear? Wee wanker, he better be here somewhere. Haudin oot oan the birthday boay. This is the party ay the year, man.’ he sais, still firmly believin it tae be true.
‘Aye well he’s gaun through a lot, mind. His granny’s took a turn fur the worse. She’s no goat long tae go.’
He stares wae that blank expression oan his face that he’s perfected oer the years. The kind where ye don’t know if he’s thinkin intently or if a gentle breeze is passin through his ears. ‘Ah know man, his granny. Ah’m gaun tae look fur him, ah love that wee guy man. Ah love aw ma mates. You tae, bro!’ he sais wae the degree ay certainty only those deep in the throes ay an ecstasy binge kin.
Ah reluctantly accept the bear hug he’s goat me in, patting his back in reciprocation an wipin his sweat oan an auld guy that happens tae be walkin by. Oer McDade’s shoulder Stevie McShane mimes flickin a pill intae the air an catchin it in his mooth.
‘Fuckin belters man, ah telt ye!’ he sais, laughin vociferously wae Scanlon.
The air ay the night is cool, though no cauld, as ah shut the thick oak door ay the Lodge behind me, mufflin the music tae a contained, rhythmic throb. It might just be the gear but ah think McDade’s maw wis makin eyes at me fae the dance flair.
Aw kiddin aside, Ronnie McDade’s a fuckin screwball so there’s nae danger ah’m twirlin his wife aboot, trippin the light fantastic. If ah did, it’d be purely tae annoy McDade an given he’s leased his soul tae MDMA fur the night, it’d be an utterly pointless exercise.
Ah spark a fag fae the crushed ten deck ah’ve goat in ma poakit an rest against the waw, the cauld sandstane coolin ma back doon.
A couple fight ootside the chippie, wae the wummin screamin at her man aboot some phone call she’d overheard him huvin. Callin him fur everythin, so she is. Hooer-maister seems tae be a favourite. Mare evidence fur ma internal, mental dossier against ever gettin merrit. Ah don’t need a wummin addin tae ma grief, ah provide mare than enough ay ma ain.
The fresh air hus the desired effect in clearin ma heid slightly an ah lean back savourin the smoke, in nae real hurry tae get back inside.
‘Excuse me, dae ye huv a light please?’ a voice comes fae next tae me.
Turning roon, ah’m faced wae a lassie ay similar age tae me. She’s beautiful man. Knockout. Her hair’s long and broon, hingin perfectly in wee, delicately arranged, curled locks. Ah staun, slack-jawed an silent fur a couple ay seconds. ‘Well?’ she sais ‘Huv ye?’
‘‘Eh, sorry. Aye, course. Here ye are.’ ah sais, igniting the flame and offerin it tae her.
‘Thanks.’ she sais wae a smile afore turnin away, embarrassed.
‘You’ve goat a lovely smile, ye know.’ ah sais, waeoot thinkin. Nice one ya fuckin knob. Could ye huv thought ay a wankier line tae hit oot wae?
‘Thanks, so have you. At least ah imagine ye have, ah widnae know right enough. Ah’ve no seen it yet.’ she replies.
She’s nae sooner sais it an ah’ve goat this daft grin oan ma coupon as though she hus the power tae influence me so.
‘There, see. Ah knew ye had a nice smile, just had tae coax it oot ye.’
‘Whit’s your name?’ ah ask her.
‘Whit’s yours?’ she replies, defensively.
‘Sorry. . . ma name’s Danny. . . Danny Coyle, ah’m McDade’s mate.’
‘Oh, ye mean Paul? Ah’m Tracey, Paul’s cousin.’
The door ay the lodge bursts open an a fuckin rammie spills oot intae the car park. Ronnie McDade’s takin his jaiket aff an bein held back by cunts. ‘That cunt - him there wae the Fred Perry polo shirt - is in there hingin oer ma wife an ah’m supposed tae dae fuck all? Whit ah’m ah? A daftie?’ he sais.
‘Away ye go Ronnie! Wis he fuck! He wis just dancin. We aw were!’ Scanlon sais.
Stevie McShane’s pacin up an doon, gettin himsel aw worked up. ‘Scanlon, keep that cunt away fae me or ah’ll no be held responsible.’ he sais.
‘Whit’s that ya cunt? If ye’ve goat somethin tae say, come oer here an say it!’ Ronnie sais.
‘RONNIE! YOU LEAVE THAT BOAY ALANE YA MISERABLE BASTART! He’s only huvin a good time. It’s a party! Your boay’s twinty-first, or huv ye furgoat that!’ Trisha McDade sais.
‘C’MERE YA CUNT, WHIT YE DAIN HIDIN BEHIND HIM?’ Ronnie sais tae McShane who’s bein held back by Scanlon.
‘Ronnie! Away back inside an we’ll huv a drink. Ye’ve goat the wrang end ay the stick.’ Scanlon sais, tryin tae pacify the cunt.
‘Fuck him Scanlon, ah know it’s yer uncle an that but he’s fuckin miles oot man. He took a fuckin swing fur me in there. Ah’m off afore ah dae somethin, ah’m gonae regret.’ McShane sais, an fucks off taewards the gate.
McDade emerges fae the folk that ur still spillin oot the door. ‘Stevie! Wait! Don’t go mate!’ he sais, but it’s too late. McShane’s awready oot ay it, away doon the road.
Ah turn tae speak tae Tracey but she’s no there anymare. Scanlon’s oer gien McDade’s da whit fur, callin him fur everythin an tellin him he’s finished wae him. McDade’s maw is greetin, mascara runnin doon her face, shooders gaun up an doon, bein consoled by her pals. ‘Hoaw McDade, whit the fuck wis aw that aboot?’ ah sais tae him.
‘Fuck knows man, yer askin the wrang guy. Ah don’t know if ah need a shite or a haircut man.’ he sais, an lookin at his saucer eyes, ah firmly believe it. ‘Ah’m wired man. Scanlon gied us some ay that gear tae put a line oot an when ah goat back fae the toilet every cunt wis chargin ootside. Some cunt sais ma da thinks McShane wis tryin tae batter intae ma maw.’
'Away ye go man. No chance.’ ah sais.
‘Telt ye din’t ah? Nae party like a McDade party man. Fuckin party ay the year!’ he sais, as we join oan the end ay the queue ay every cunt headin back inside.