The most liberating experience Iâ€™ve had in recent memory was after Tuesdayâ€™s house concert in West Seattle. It was an unexpected high school reunion with Kara, whose mom was hosting the house concert and Justin, who I barely knew when he was one year ahead of me in High School.
The Rib Tickler turned out to be the nearest neighborhood dive for Erica and I to have a drink with them and just our luck, it was karaoke night. We caught up on the last decadeâ€¦ Kara running her dadâ€™s motel near the astrodome and barely surviving the Katrina refugees, 20 to a room and trashing this place that had been in their family since her Grandpa opened it in the 50â€™s. They recently threw in the towel and finally sold the motel to developers. Justin, who was salutatorian, went on to Ivy League schools and to a year of clerking for Sandra Day Oâ€™Connor before joining a Seattle Law Firm. Toward the end of the night, Justin revealed that he had once won a karaoke competition. I was as impressed as I ever get. Nothing tickles me more than people who reveal out of left field layers.
So the conversations went somewhere where Kara and Erica declared that there was not enough beer in the bar to get them up to sing Karaoke and Justin offered without prompting. I told them how thoroughly depressing my two karaoke experiences had been, because as a singer it is so disheartening to hold up a drunk person slurring â€œYer good. You should be a singerâ€¦â€?
I was joking when I said, â€œThe only way Iâ€™m getting up there is if I pretend to be a really bad singer.â€? As soon as the sentence came out, the mere idea was exhilarating. Justin and I got up and sang a duet – â€œEndless Loveâ€? as horribly as we possibly could without letting on once that we were not trying our best. Justin jumped up and down. I misread the lyrics and stole his lines and howled all the way throughâ€¦ Erica and Kara laughed and other karaokers approached us with honest, straight-up discouragement afterwards. It was liberating.