Barry was right on his heels. ‘Well, looks like you gonna walk, sunshine, ’cause I sure as hell ain’t givin’ you a ride. Have a good trip!’ With that and before Jackson could open his mouth he slammed the door shut.
‘I’m sure I will, for a change!’ yelled Jackson at the silent lodge.
He waded down the front steps, past Juno behind her log pile and onto the marginally less submerged nearby track. His adorable face looked brittle, and clearly not only because of the cold.
Juno knew that a couple miles on, where the track met the highway, the road was clear. Traffic was infrequent, but something or other did pass every now and again.
She just couldn’t let it happen. Jackson was already nearing a turn in the track, with a steep rise on one side and a gorge on the other, when a mighty sheet of snow crashed down out of nowhere, firmly blocking his path. It was all over in a heartbeat, and not one of his silken hairs was out of place.
After standing stock-still before the soundless white wall for what must’ve been minutes, Jackson turned back to where the lodge sat waiting under a leaden sky.
Tears were rolling down Juno’s cheeks as she allowed David to take Elliot’s call.
December 1967 was an exciting time. The Stones’ new album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, was eagerly awaited, and all things Sergeant Pepper were still riding high. LA was abuzz with anticipation of the amazing masterpiece the Beach Boys had been working on all year.
Juno spent her days running through scenarios over and over. She could find another unknown singer and start again. She could become, say, a manager or publicist. She could do anything she wanted, really. The city was putty to her.
But every option that involved her staying also meant either doing serious Magic to Jackson or seeing him look at her with that wariness in his eyes again. So when the mother of all zone alerts went off early in January, she knew what she had to do.
The second time in her life Juno departed somewhere leaving hardly a trace. It was the least painful alternative she could think of. Her divine face was a deluge of tears as she stood across the road from her favourite place and put a blanket spell on the Troubadour, for everyone who’d ever stepped through its doors to forget all about her.
Juno’s time in LA was over.
Joni Mitchell had arrived.