Lesli gone, Keith makes new plans

Keith-&-LesliHe got the bright idea to call Sarah Sargeant. Got her number from the registry. Called to see if she felt like going into the studio on his dime. Had to leave a message.

This situation — with or without Lesli — was going to have to see itself through. Much as it had turned his world topsy-turvy, he was still a professional and had a responsibility to uphold. To himself, sure. But Helen and the others had a lot at stake too, and he was not going to let this be a monkey wrench thrown in the works.

In fact, it probably wouldn’t hurt to turn to his friends for strength. He could use a hug from Helen. He smiled wistfully. One thing about that woman, when you got a hug from Helen you sure knew you’d been hugged.

Well, the gang would be back before long. For that matter, maybe he’d jump a flight to — what city were they headed to after Duluth? Winnipeg? Before they hit Montreal? Yeah, just pack up his little buddies, Butch and Sundance, and go right back to the airport.

Maybe that’s what he’d do, he wasn’t sure. He poured himself a shot. Put on the news and picked up the telephone.

Helen came on the line. “Hey,” he said, “what’s goin’ on, superfox?”

“How you doin’? We miss y’, baby!”

“Well, you might be seein’ me sooner than you think. If I can figure out a flight.”

“I’m surprised your lady’d let you out of bed that long. Not this soon after just seeing you again. You gonna bring her with?”

“No, see, that’s the thing. She done left, walked out on me.”

“What?!”

“Yeah.”

“…Keith, what did you do?”

“I wish I knew. She was gone when I got here. No note, no Lesli, no nothin.  ‘Cept these two pain-in-the-rear cats.”

“That’s rough.”

“Tell me about it.”

“I got somebody here wants to say hello. Hold on.”

Luis came on the line. “Que pasa, amigo.”

“You sittin’ down? Lesli dumped me.”

“Again?”

“Again. I’m thinking about getting out of town. Hook up with you guys wherever your next stop is.”

“Wait. I’ll give you Helen again. Listen, buddy, sorry to hear this.”

“Not as sorry as me, man. Later.”

“Later.” He put Helen back on.

Turned out not only had Yohannes Tona agreed to stay on a couple weeks and help out with the mini-tour, but Christensen was subbing for Keith. She invited Keith to meet them in Quebec and she’d have two of the baddest guitar men she could think of working the show. She’d have to even think about recording that live on the road. “Works for me,” Keith said.

He was working out travel plans when Sarah called back. “Hey, sweetie.”

“Hey, yourself.” If he didn’t know she was gay, he’d seriously thought about taking a run at her. Hell, he entertained the notion anyway, just knew better than to act on it. He sure thought about Sam, though. Smitty, as he’d called her. That young, wild woman was a real piece of work.

The last time Lesli ditched him, he couldn’t even think of getting with another girl. He sure thought about it now. Just to help try and save his sanity.

Next week: Keith tries to kick the doldrums.

Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.