Alone again, not liking it


Keith-&-LesliAll assembled had a good time the rest of the day. Into evening. And wound up re-ordering at the liquor store. There was a constant crowd out in the hall. Which increased with a heavy buzz that Her Nibs was on the premises.

When faces started gawking around the door jamb to get a look at Helen, Sam strolled over and slammed the door shut. The whole time, Faith snapped off picture after picture with her cell phone. Most of the shots with Keith somewhere in the frame. And got cleared to put as many photos up on Facebook as she wanted.

Helen cautioned her: “You’re gonna start getting a lot of add requests you don’t really need.”

“Yeah,” Faith realized. Thought a moment. “Well, I can live with that.” They all got a good laugh out of that.

Then the gals got to jawing about it. How Facebook drew some horny, sad and sorry dogs out of the woodwork. How also women would post comments griping about their men being bewitched by Helen and Sam.

Sam hoisted a glass, laughing loud. “If he’s losing sleep over me, missy, you must not be doing something right.” Luis and Keith, neither of whom had Facebook accounts, left the ladies to their subject of discussion and got back to their instruments.

At one point, in the kitchenette, rummaging through the fridge to make sandwiches, they sat and took a break. Luis chomped down on a sandwich, sipping a beer. “Man, that Faith is fine.”

Keith nodded thoughtfully and looked over at her. Still giddy-grateful for her change in circumstance, she was fitting in just fine. Helen liked her and Sam was her buddy. That strange gaze of hers disappeared in the consistent laughter between the three. She simply looked happy.  Still sexy, now happy too.

Whereupon, for some perplexing reason, he thought about Lesli.

He said to Luis, “I can’t understand for the life of me why Lesli would do this.”

“Yeah, well,” his friend retorted, “you figure out why women do anything, write a book.”

Keith had put together a plate of potato salad, couple pickles, a small mound of tuna fish and a stack of saltines. Looked out the window, then back to Luis. “Yeah.”

Ray Charles could see Faith had taken a shine to him. And that this young lady wasn’t easily impressed. That with her authoritative air — not to mention the reaction to Luis’ usually effective charm — she likely shot men down like flies. And she was digging him.

Keith looked out the window again. Yeah, digging him. A cat with a pregnant ex who’d just dumped him. He couldn’t wait to tell her his background. He looked back at Luis. “How’s things with Esme?”

“Keeps me on a tight leash, man.”

“Which is where your triflin’ behind belong.”

“True. Don’t mean I like it.” They laughed. Luis then started in about how their Mets still couldn’t get it right. Keith half paid attention, feeling like a line from one of Lesli’s James Baldwin stories. Something about a river trying to run north and south at the same time. He was drawn to Faith but couldn’t forget how he still felt about Les.


Next week: Fun over, time to go home.


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