Keith stashed his guitar at the studio and went for a walk to clear his head. He walked awhile, found himself at his favorite place to think and favorite place to not think —Central Park. One thing about it: If you’re anywhere in Manhattan between 59th St. and Harlem, you were only a few blocks away from the park.
Lesli, he rued, hadn’t been any crazier about Helen than she’d been about the kid. She simply didn’t like women he admired.
He remembered a day not so long ago when, braless in a tank top and panties, she’d been dancing and prancing all over her apartment for the better part of an hour. To Keith’s music. Rather, his playing. He’d sat unabashedly leering, lecherous glee all over his face, while she put on the stereo one disc after another in a collection of tracks on which he’d laid down, if he said so, some smoke.
Lesli didn’t have a problem putting on a skin show for her man. Until the instrumentals ran out. Then a woman sang, raw-edged bluesy with just enough pop polish to make you wonder what exactly you were listening to. She sang hard. And soft. And effortlessly nuanced in between.
“Honey,” Lesli had asked, “who is this? She is tight.” Her hips swiveled. Lesli writhed, offering an irresistible invitation. Keith wondered whether to dance with her or drag her off to bed.
“Helen,” he’d answered. “Helen St. James. You met her at—”
Lesli had stopped dead still and flounced out of the room saying, “Never mind. I remember.”
Keith decided it was a good thing he didn’t admire very many women. Fact is, he wasn’t a people person and, aside from his pals Jerry and Luis, pretty much kept to himself. He hadn’t wanted to show up at the party where he’d met Leslie, except his agent wouldn’t give him a minute’s peace until he agreed to pop in and network. Hobnob with a bunch of stiffs who thought they didn’t stink on the toilet for no other reason than they had more money than they’d ever live long enough to spend.
In the park, his brisk pace immediately slowed to a stroll. And, peering up at the sun, scanning his surroundings, and for no particular reason heading in the direction of the zoo, he quickly realized that jealousy or no jealousy, hot temper or no hot temper, the gal was way deep under his skin and always would be. “So,” he heard himself say out loud, “now what?”
He caught sight of a hot fox walking hand in hand with her handsome hunk. They smiled and chatted. She touched his arm, laughing, bouncing her head off his shoulder. Keith wistfully looked after them as, oblivious to him, they ambled affectionately down the park path. He started whistling that old chestnut, “Some Guys Have All the Luck.”
Actually, Keith knew perfectly good and well what he needed to do. Somehow, someway, come hell or high water. But, dammit, how?
Next week: How do you win an angry woman back?
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