Lorraine was tired of driving, but she was thrilled because she was getting closer.  She was in Tennessee after hours and hours behind the wheel and had only to traverse the state and she would be within striking distance of Black Mountain. She decided to spend her last night on the road in Nashville. Maybe she would catch a glimpse of some of her country music favorites. She had had a lifelong crush on Garth Brooks ever since his song about friends in low places. That was Lorraine. She allowed her friends in low places to influence her to do naughty things.

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She checked into a downtown motel and spruced herself up. She circled her eyes with kohl and layered on the mascara. She sprayed her black hair into a pouf and put on the flowing Eileen Fisher outfit she had purchased when she crossed the border into Texas. She decided to treat herself to a good dinner and a few drinks at a music venue. Maybe Garth would be there and she could get an autograph.

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After eating a gigantic dish of pasta and a splurge serving of cheesecake (just this once it would be okay, even though she was on a strict diet), she found a honky tonk and went inside. The music was blasting one country hit after another, and she couldn’t stop her head from bobbing and her foot from tapping. After a few Margaritas, she couldn’t stay on her barstool any longer and she boogied onto the dance floor. 

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She was feeling the music! The band started the opening bars of “Friends” and in minutes she had sashayed onto the stage and grabbed the microphone from the lead singer. She loved to sing and had a great singing voice which she exercised in Asheville with the symphony chorus. The kind of music she was used to singing was liturgical or classical, but she knew all the words to Friends in Low Places, and belted out the lyrics.

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The audience was brought to its feet by her performance and cheered for Lorraine. She felt amazing. She was made for this!! She should be a country music star herself. A waitress handed her a fresh Margarita which she drank down quickly. “This drink was sent to you by that gentleman at the back table. He’d like a word with you when you get a chance,” whispered the waitress.

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Lorraine tried to focus on the man in the back, but her vision was pretty blurry after all those drinks and the euphoria brought on by the audience’s response to her song. All she could make out was a huge cowboy hat and a bushy mustache. She made her way as steadily as she could to the table and stumbled before flopping onto a chair. 

“Where have you been all my life, Missy?” he asked in a deep sonorous voice. 

“I’ve been in the jungle with El Chapo,” slurred Lorraine.

“Hahahaha! You are quite the kidder!” he responded. “El Chapo, eh?”

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“No. Really. We had an affair…”

“Well, whatever.” He was no longer laughing. “Listen I am a music producer and I like what I see. How would you like to be the next big thing in Nashville?”

Lorraine was seeing stars just before she fainted. When she came to, she said, “You didn’t ask to sign me to sing and record in Nashville, did you?”

“Yes I did,” he responded seriously. “How about it? Nashville is looking for its next big thing.”