Sunday, May 27, 2007

Of hitchhikers and new turns.

They were two days south of the dreaded Canadian border, Sheila now in the driver's seat. Ken gave her the wheel at an exit north of St. Louis. Anything to stop the Cher songs - maybe she would concentrate on just driving. No such luck, but he was able to slip into a fitful sleep in the back. The rest of the band were awake but quiet, still thinking of the losses in Winnipeg. Steve was mumbling again. "No way, I can't play the guitar parts on my cello," he whined. Bob was insistent. "We've got a gig in two days, and you're going to play them, so start practicing." Steve: "Oh yeah, like... in the VAN?" Bob lashed back. "I'll banish you to the roof and you can play them in the wind. They might sound better like that anyway." Steve mumbled something not nice, and Bob drifted off again, depressed.

On the straight road ahead, Sheila spotted a figure walking the shoulder with the unmistakable shape of a guitar case in one hand and a thumb sticking out of the other one. She pulled over and he walked up like Robert Johnson at the Crossroads, expecting to see the devil. No such luck. "Need a ride?" Sheila said excitedly. "Yeah- hey thanks," he said. He hopped in and cheerfully said, "I'm Chris." Bob said, "What are you, like twelve? Does your mamma know where you are?" Unflapped, he said, "No, just lookin' for a gig." He dumped his guitar in the back, accidently bonking the sleeping Ken, who just couldn't catch a break.

Gail: "Looks like you're going to get your gig. We need a guitar player." She reached out the window and pulled the sullen Steve back in as he was making his way to the roof. Sheila stepped on it, the van lurched forward as instrument cases tumbled again. Bob pulled out a flask and handed the whiskey to "The Kid," as the young highwayman would henceforth be known. Little did he know what he'd gotten himself into. He might have been better off with the Devil.