I sauntered up to the “stage”—corner of the bar, really—and turned back towards the audience. I say sauntered, because he started playing an old Nancy Sinatra song as I got up, on account of my nice leather boots, which he happened to notice. So how I could I not saunter up to the stage?
I turned back towards him, where he sat at the keyboard. I think I appeared more confident than I really was. But I did not quail.
“What are we doing tonight?” He asked.
Same thing we always do, I thought. “How about Syrup & Honey?”
I knew this song like the back of my hand—could probably sing it in my sleep; probably do. What I don’t know is how to sing with a live band. That’s why I keep coming back, like a junkie, to these Wednesday night jams. When I don’t go, I get upset at myself for missing an opportunity to sing. I rarely get to sing more than one song—but one day I hope to change that. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
We’d spoken during a lull, one of the rare moments when he wasn’t playing—he told me I needed to get right into the mic.
This time I listened.
As the song began, I could hear him encouraging in my ear. The words flowed out of me and I stayed where I was, I did not shy from the mic, all the while I could hear from somewhere off on my lefthand, “stay right there.” Three little words that mean so much: don’t move, don’t you dare leave that spot, because if you do…you will lose it. It’ll be gone; and just like that you’ll be left frustrated and panting for another try. Stay right there.
Yes, I stayed right there.
The final notes ebbed away and I smiled up at him, like a fourth-grader with a schoolyard crush. I’m always a little moonstruck when a song goes well. He didn’t meet my eye, his gaze steadily looked out at the audience and he said, “That was Frank-tastic.”
Inwardly I groaned, but I couldn’t help agree. “Yes, that was Frank-tastic.”
Musicians and their egos, you know?
Tagged: the open mic