Keith looked lost. “Yeah, well, Louie, I thought she was the one, too. Then, well…”
“Well?” his friend retorted. “Well is a hole in the ground.”
He knew Luis meant well and only had his good in mind. His friend, though, would do well not to say one more smart-ass word. Good a time as any to just come clean. “Man, she’s wonderful. But—”
Maria glided up, putting plates of food and glasses of soda on the table. Lingering. He gave a sour look and she left. “Lesli’s jealous. And has a temper.”
Luis looked at him like Keith was stupid. “That all? You sure you know how to pour pee out a boot, or you need directions wrote on the heel?” Keith blankly stared back. Luis looked at his friend in amused frustration.
Finally he said, with a small smile, “You ever been with a woman wasn’t jealous, who didn’t have a temper?” And shook his head. “I feel for you, man. Really do.” He watched a tear come to Keith’s eye, saw Keith wipe it off and turn away to look out the window. And commiserated.
“Man, I’ve seen you in bad shape before. But, this chick truly tore you up.” Neither of them said another word for a good, long while. They sat there eating. To the point, Luis ate. Keith nibbled, pushing his food around on the plate.
Maria came back. Luis reached in his wallet to pay the bill. Appetite or no appetite, Keith considered it sacrilege to leave a Mexican restaurant without having flan. “We’re not finished.” He ordered the desert and found himself following the shift and sway of Maria’s short hemline above her thick thighs.
Luis took that as a cue to offer more counsel: “The one sure way, man, to get over a woman? Is to get with a woman.”
“No. Last thing I need right now is to rush and run into another relationship.”
“Relationship? Who said anything about that? Just get you some—”
“Louie, man, I could hire a hooker if it comes to that.”
“Well, then, what’re you waiting for? Something needs to snap you back to life.”
In Keith’s line of work, one thing he’d never resorted to was putting money on the dresser. Wasn’t a minute after word spread about his and Lesli’s break-up, the phone started ringing off the hook. He quit answering it. Anybody he gave a damn about talking to he called and said send an e-mail.
Luis had a point, though. There usually was no better way to shake off a case of blues.
This, though, wasn’t about usually. It was about Lesli.
Next week: Lesli takes the blame for a drunken brawl.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.
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