December 2005 Primo has flown me up to his place. I guess we like each other. He makes me a supper of steak and vegetables on the grill. In the snow. He is a crazy man. He thinks it's not cold. He is wrong.
He wants to take me out to a karaoke place to hear him sing. He has been telling me about this passion for a while - that he just learned a few years ago that he loves to sing and is good at it. I am doubtful. He is an engineer, for pete's sake, not an entertainer. How can he be any good?
He discovered this talent and hobby after he left Bertha and went on a solo trip to New Orleans. He was persuaded to try singing at a karaoke bar. Yes. Alcohol was involved. Primo had some wild (for him) times after he left Bertha. He married at 24 and became responsible very young, so I guess he saw this as a chance to have his youth all over again. Or his youth without the bad skin and with some confidence. Wouldn't we all like to return to high school knowing what we know now? Return to our old bodies, skin and hair but with our wisdom, such as it is?
So he takes me to this bar. It is simple place - mismatched tables and chairs, no fancy decoration, just some neon beer signs. One side of the building is the bar, the other side is where they have the Friday fish fry. Lots and lots of cigarette smoke. I hate stale indoor cigarette smoke (but will stop outside to take a deep breath of fresh cigarette smoke, even if I am running), but I will suffer for Primo. At least, I will suffer for him at the beginning of the relationship. Later, not so much.
He signs up to sing. The six singers before Primo are awful. Bless their hearts. I am thinking Omigosh Primo's going to sing like these guys and I'm going to have to lie and say he's good.
Then Primo is called to the mike.
He starts to sing "Easy."
He can sing. He is really good. He's even hitting the high notes. Who knew?
People stop talking to listen to him. A few people come by my table to tell me that Primo wins. One woman says that my husband is a fabulous singer. I tell her that he's not my husband, but thanks.
When he returns to the table, I am smiling. Happy that he has this talent because I have a thing for musicians. And relieved. Relieved that I do not have to lie because I am bad, very unconvincing liar.