Occasionally, Mrs. Donna Jean would be tuckered from a day of turning Keith on his side, eating Tuinals, and shopping for caftans and just hit an existential wall mid-song. She would stop her little hippie-chick easy skank thing and grab onto the mike for support. She would think about her boys, so far away.
She was in…well, she was in a basketball arena, or a gently decaying theater. She was somewhere smoky. Somewhere the tap water doesn’t taste right: maybe Denver, possibly Atlanta. Detroit?
It was cold, she knew that. Or too hot. In a borrowed bed and an airplane seat previously sat on by someone else who didn’t want to be there. Hotels and planes and hospitals and jails and Billy’s basement: people are only there because they have to be and that disgust seeps into the cushions like chili farts in a fat camp mattress.
She was vulnerable like the others weren’t: no shield. Nowhere to hide–certainly not a giant children’s fort of drums set atop a defensible platform. Keith was as ludicrously encircled by keyboards as any English prog-rock ivory-tickler of the time, but preferred to spend his time on an instrument so large that there are specialized businesses that only move that instrument. They all had places to hide, but not her. She was scared up there.
Occasionally, Mrs. Donna Jean would be tuckered.
Then, she would remember that Billy had always punched her in the dick just as much as everyone else, and she would feel better.