Saturday, August 30, 2014
This night I went out with a single girlfriend and hit a late night karaoke bar.
When we arrived it was almost empty. The patrons mostly very old men looking at the two of us like a couple of water coolers appearing in the desert. I shrugged.
I'd heard good things about this place.
But the decor was as old and tired as the patrons, so we ordered a drink and made plans to move on.
Five minutes later a wave of people flowed in and kept flowing; all types-all ages-all walks of life.
The music started, the DJ warmed up the crowd; butchering Des'ree's "You gotta be.."
It turned into quite a night, the place was jumping, everyone was singing along (except for the stern looking DJ).
My friend left at midnight, but I had promised myself I wouldn't leave without singing, so I hung out with a bunch of strangers who'd kind of latched onto us. It was a very friendly place. One particular young guy latched onto me.
He asked me: "How come your husband lets a gorgeous thing like you out on your own?"
On my third Cornona I replied: "My EX-husband is happy to be rid of me actually".
"Is he f@cking INSANE?"
I smiled enigmatically: "funny you should mention that.."
"You're a f2cking knock-out! The guy's gotta be totally nuts!"
After that I got up to sing. I found an unlikely song I knew only the chorus to, but hey I was on my fourth beer by then; how bad could I be? The caustic DJ looked totally bored as he handed me the mike.
So I got up there and I sang; Tina Turner's 'Nutbush City Limits'. There was a wild response. The DJ smiled at me and gave me the thumbs up as I finished.
My one-man-fan-club hurled more appreciation at me wrapped up gaily in colourful expletives.
He wanted my number, he wanted to see me again, he insisted that every guy in the room was on my tail...
This triggered so many memories for me. The singing rather than the guy who probably didn't realise he was hitting on someones mum.
But that was the first time I'd sung in public in 14 years. I used to sing most Saturday nights in a club in London as a guest with their regular band. I was quite popular.
But He never came to see me perform. He never liked the look of the place from the outside, although it was in the heart of Knightsbridge, He thought it was.. I don't know actually, but certainly not His style.
So He began making plans for Saturday nights, He made sure we always had something on, and He never came to hear me sing - no matter how many times I asked.
I stopped singing altogether.
I stopped doing something I've loved, that always gave me pure joy, since way back when I sang in the school choir at 6-years-old.
Funny how you don't notice these things happening to you in a new relationship. Now I think, how could a man in love, who knows his dream-girl is a popular singer (and I was) in any club at all, not go and hear her? Not even once?
In hindsight I am developing new perspectives on many, many things in our past together. The image in the rear-view mirror doesn't look so perfect as it used to.