We broke down. We came to a smoky halt just outside a small town in Arizona called Kingman. Brenda’s pussy just gave out and we rolled to a stop. It was hot as hell, sitting there on the shoulder of the road; must’ve been close to 100 degrees. So while Joe waited for the tow guy, Warren and I wandered back to a truck stop to get a cold drink and charge our phones. On our way we were picked up by a highway patrolman because we were walking in the median. There’s no sidewalk on route 93, so walking the grassy median was the only way we could get to the truck stop. Fortunately the cop wasn’t a dick about it, and drove us to our destination (where, I’m disgusted to say, I sampled Popeye’s Chicken Tenders for the first and last time. ‘Oh man,’ said Warren. ‘This is just a taste of what you’ll eat when we get to New Orleans!’).
Eventually the tow truck arrived and hoisted Brenda on to its back, and then dropped us all at the local auto repair shop. After discussing when we could expect to have our car up and running again (Wednesday at the latest), we walked across the street and hastily checked into what I can honestly say was the dirties motel I have ever seen. This place was incredible. It looked like a set from Breaking Bad. It was grimy and bleak and death was in the air. It was actually worse than a set from Breaking Bad, it was more like a set from a movie called I Was Gang Raped and Left For Dead by Junky Scum. The moment we dropped our bags and closed the door, there were dusty crackheads and scabby hookers leering in our windows, trying to see what they could steal from us. Really. That’s not a joke. It was spooky. So we checked the fuck out and went over to Hotel 6 on the other (good) side of town, which was like the Waldorf Astoria by comparison. We bought a case of beers and washed off the day’s madness in the pool.
Poor Brenda, her transmission shat itself. Now here we are in Kingman. The good news is our hotel is on Route 66 and there’s cool old diners and stuff. Route 66! Last night we went to a steak house and had burgers. Joe–who is a regular Romeo–got chatty with a couple of the waitresses there, and before we knew it we were in a VW Rabbit with a young girl named Lindsay. She drove us to the sketchiest part of town to score pot. ‘I just bought this car. Do you like it?’ said Lindsay, travelling at the speed of sound through the pitch-black Arizona night. I was shitting bricks. Not because she was clearly drunk, and not because we were driving to another part of the Breaking Bad set; the factor that concerned me most was what we were going to tell the cops if we got pulled over. Joe was up front working his magic on our 21 year-old chauffer, and Warren was in the back with me, laughing his head off at what we were getting into. I was just nervous. It did not feel good. We pulled up outside a ramshackle house in a rural ghetto called ‘Bird Land,’ and we waited in the car for Lindsay to get the weed. While we sat there I had a private thought: what if we hear gunshots from the house. Seconds later Joe said, ‘Hey! What if we hear gunshots from the house?’ Fucking hell.
Finally Lindsay returned and we drove back to town. On the way, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ came on the radio and we had a sing-along that I promised I wouldn’t mention here. Then we went to a local bar, had a beer, and walked back along Route 66 (Route 66!) to our hotel and got really, really high. Then we took the photo above because we were really, really high. Next stop: exactly where we are right now– a Motel 6 in Kingman, Arizona!