He called back, “At your service.” She came into the kitchenette. Hips waving all over the place, Keith smiling in unabashed admiration.
“Know what I notice our repertoire could use?”
“Nope, not ‘til you tell me.”
“Some good old soul music.”
“Okay, fine. What’d you have in mind?”
“You’re the maestro with a hundred songs up your sleeve. Make some suggestions.”
Keith did a quick mental flip through the encyclopedic catalog bequeathed to him by Jimmy Mack. Had no trouble coming up with a song for her voice. Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”
She flipped. “That’ll work! You up to give it a go?”
“Now?” She shot him a hard, sharp glance.
Luis snickered. “Yeah, man. I think she means now.” They took their food in with them. Keith began showing Sam the song. She got the notes and chords alright but just couldn’t seem to get with the groove.
Faith suggested, “It has to be floating around on You Tube, doesn’t it?”
“Good idea,” Sam responded. “’Cause, I can’t seem to figure out what’s expected of me.”
Helen chastised, “Stop whining.” Sam, a bit embarrassed, kind of hung her head. Faith pulled the jam up on her mini-console’s computer. At the first notes, Keith and Helen perked up. He took her hand, led her on to the floor, and they began having a ball dancing. And singing. And dancing. Sam was all ears. By the ending, she’d joined in on the chorus. Had figured out the basics of a piano part.
Luis imparted, “Somebody strong is going to have to play bass.”
“No lie,” Keith responded. “But, who?” Helen wanted to book Yohannes Tona. Keith and Luis wanted their hen-pecked, thoroughly whipped pal Gerry. Who, after all, had closely — hell, religiously — studied Motown bassists Jerry Jemmot, Jamie Jamerson and Carol Kaye. Religiously. The boss tabled that discussion until they could come to consensus. They all agreed on having Lola Rodriguez snap the traps.
That accomplished, they decided to call it. Keith packed up. He was wiped out. “Enough fun, time to go home now.”
Helen leaned over and said in his ear, “Can I tell you something? Between you and me?”
“Oh, my God. You’re really a man?”
She plucked him upside the head. “You been hangin’ out with Louie too long.” He laughed. Helen then said, “This band may yet turn out to be the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ll get richer and more famous doing movies, but this is a hell of a lot of fun, hanging with you, the brat and this devilish side-kick of yours.”
“I heard that,” Luis piped up.
“Mind your bidniz,” Keith said. “We talkin’ ‘bout you, not to you.”
Faith and Sam were huddled in a corner chatting and giggling like overgrown schoolgirls. Keith slipped out the door, through the hall, down the stairs, got outside and caught a cab. Resting, head back, eyes closed, he wished he could just turn his mind off. Keith didn’t want to know about Lesli. Didn’t want to know about Faith. Didn’t want to think about just how special some women can be.
Next week: Time to discuss things with Dan.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.