When they pulled in, Lesli stepped off the bus and heard, “Hey, girl!” Looked around, saw Lola bearing down on her. Faith standing to the side, glowering at her and then looking at the ground. “You think we did some shopping the last time. Wait ‘til we hit these stores. We can get a few things for the baby, too!”
Keith had to laugh. Right, a few things. Those two would do their best to clean out every place they found that had kid’s clothes. He laughed again. In town not 10 minutes and his friend had shanghaied his fiancé. Fiancé — that had a nice ring to it. He was going to join the rest of the world and start a family. Again, he had to laugh.
Luis walked up. Keith smirked. “So, how’s life with Lola?”
“That sounds like some kinda sitcom. It’s alright. We played poker the whole ride here and she cleaned me out. Drank me under the table. And talks my ear off about Fel. Do you know what kind of torture that is?”
Keith couldn’t keep a straight face. “I can imagine.”
“No, you can’t!”
“Well, maybe after Lesli leaves for New York I’ll let you move back in.”
“She’s not staying?”
“Man, the woman has to go to work.”
“Swear to God, I won’t cause any more trouble. No cops, no nothing.”
Keith knew better. Luis lived to create mischief. He did, however, trust that the moron wouldn’t get them both on the wrong side of the law again. At least not over some chick young enough to be his kid sister. “We’ll see. Talk to me again about it later.”
Meanwhile, Helen and Sam were besieged by the Canadian media. A conference was set up — television, radio, video feeds, the whole nine. Keith’d been mentioned in the press release but skipped out on the event. He and Luis went sightseeing until sound check.
They had a good time. Found, of all things, a Puerto Rican restaurant and couldn’t resist going in for a margarita. Or three. Then, went back to roaming the streets. By the time it was time to take care of business, Luis had — surprise — picked up a lovely lady, this one clearly of age, and Keith had bought a guitar, a vintage Rickenbacker 12-string.
Lesli and Lola met him at the bus, both loaded down with expensive-looking shopping bags. Sherry was on her way into the venue, walking with Richie and Faith, who had decided discretion, not going toe to toe with Keith’s woman, was the better part of keeping her brand new, well-paying job.
Keith and Lesli spent the rest of their time in that city, except for sound check and a few hours on-stage, hunkered down in their little home away from home. With Barney finding plenty to do in town besides sit behind a wheel and read.
The show went fantastic. Lola and Sherry were beginning to truly get in synch with one another. The five of them formed a powerhouse strong enough to knock down a building. The crowd had gone crazy and every single unit of merchandise, from CDs to key chains, had moved. There was nothing to sell at the next stop. A shipment was special-ordered and would be flown in.
They got right back on the bus and went straight back to bed. Poked their noses out from under the covers just long enough to hit the can, have a light snack, and get their strength up. Next morning, Keith put a very tired, quite content Lesli on a flight to JFK.
He was fairly worn out himself. Caught a nap — for about ten hours. Woke up in time for sound check. During which he was kidded relentlessly, especially by his buddy, for being MIA.
Faith appeared to take Lesli’s absence as an opportunity and, while the gang was giving Keith a hard time, got in some serious flirting, sending signals left and right. Until Helen shot her dirty look. Sam took her friend aside and pulled her coat. After that, Faith was nice and polite to Keith and that was it.
Next week: Celebrity on the road
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.