When I watch other people sing songs at karaoke, like I was last Thursday after a long day driving around and seeing lovely stuff, I'm watching love. I'm watching a whim. NO, I'm watching a series of whims: at least a vocal inflection, and a series of breaths, or more fully an interest in explaining or interpreting a tune that no one else in the room would likely have thought of doing. I'm watching people willing to come out on a weeknight and wait at a bar table or off to the side and get up, rise to the level that the song occupies in their heads or hearts or memories, the shelf it sits on.
So I watch in love, and I feel compelled to give it the respect it deserves. Even if I don't understand, even if I've never heard the song before, or haven't heard it in a while. Or if I've never heard it! I had stepped away from my seat and was visiting the restroom, no lock on the door, so I was hurrying up. And two kids from Louisville had gotten up to the mike, one black, one white, and they were singing this song, and I realized it was that song from Disney's "Frozen." I had avoided it, never sought it out, never willingly chosen to listen to it, never seen the movie or any parodies. But here it was, unavoidable, and I went over and thanked the kids after. They seemed to take it in the intended spirit, without too much fuss.
And I stay in love, be it a drink bought for a friend, or chips offered from another friend, or pictures taken of someone who turned out to be a really lovely social-media voice that I had seen around online but never met in person. I try to stay in the love I watch and find in other people, jumping the line with whatever song lets me do that, or remembering the song a friend suggested for me earlier in the evening. or the songs at the end of the night when I've sung myself hoarse and have just enough in the tank to do my juhaichiban (Lou Rawls' "You'll Never Find (Another Love Like Mine)") and a Gerry Goffin thing, Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love For You," that I'd been thinking about.
How do you stay in love?