Sunday, January 25, 2009

Karaoke

Spouse & I had no plans yesterday, so we puttered about for a while, tidying up and putting away the dishes from the previous night's birthday dinner and such. Spouse decided to take a lap, a luxury he enjoys deeply, and I decided to take Big Ella out for some exercise.

It was a rather non-descript day and I was not looking forward to a non-descript night, so after dinner I suggested to Spouse that we go to the Purple Parrot for karaoke. Instead, he preferred to stay home and watch TV, so I went without him. I knew our friend Tony would be there (he's there every Sat) so I wouldn't be alone.

After meeting up with Tony and his friend Donny, I ordered a Cosmo, looked through the karaoke book, and delivered my 1st song choice to the DJ. Shortly thereafter I sang "Mambo Italiano" (the Bette Midler version with the great beat) to the delight of the happy audience. A few people congratulated me for a good performance on my way back to my bar stool, which is always nice. "Mambo Italiano" is a great song but it is difficult to sing because the lyrics go so quickly. But I've sung it before, and knew I could do it well. I mean, without meaning to sound conceited, I know I can sing well. I've sung in public many times, most recently in karaoke but also in concerts when I was younger.

So, after finishing my song and my Cosmo, I went to the bar to order another. While waiting for the bartender, a young blond woman reached out and touched my arm and excitedly said "Oh my god, you're the guy who just did that AH-MAAY-ZING job with that mambo song! You were fantastic! You should be on American Idol!" I sensed she may be just a wee bit tipsy.

"Oh, well, thank you very much, but I'm too old for American Idol. They have a 29 year old age limit, ya know" I responded with a bit of a chuckle. Then I noticed she was there with 2 men and another woman. Two couples, I surmised. The shorter of the 2 guys asked if I would take a picture with his girlfriend (the brunette), whose 30th birthday they were celebrating. I thought he was asking me to take the picture of them so I reached for the camera. "No, I'm taking the picture. I want you in the picture with her" he corrected me. I couldn't imagine why in gay hell he would want a picture of ME with his girlfriend on her birthday, but they seemed quite nice so I figured 'what the hell'. I put my arm around his girlfriend and he snapped the picture, then thanked me.

I guess the flash alerted the taller guy, who turned around as I was removing my arm from the birthday girl's back, and asked the shorter guy "Did you get a picture of Colleen and the karaoke guy?" Meanwhile, I asked Colleen (the brunette birthday girl) how the 4 of them knew each other. She told me that they all work for the coast guard. She and the shorter guy, Sean, have been together for 3 years, and the very good-looking taller guy, Jeff, and the blond woman, Shelly are married.

Jeff then began furiously complimenting me on my performance, which, combined with his slightly slurred speech, indicated to me he was more than a wee bit tipsy. His compliments just kept coming and I was beginning to feel a little embarrassed by all the accolades. If he weren't so damn attractive I probably would have excused myself from the group right then.

But I didn't, and when Jeff noticed my empty martini glass he asked me what I was drinking. I told him it was a Cosmo, and he raised his hand and barked "Bartender! A Cosmo for my buddy Mark!" Now it was definitely too late to leave my new friends.

I learned from Colleen (who doesn't drink) that she grew up in central DE, but had moved to Baltimore for work, which is where she met the other 3. But once again, Jeff did not like the focus of the conversation being something other than me, so he interrupted by asking me if I'd ever sung professionally. I explained that I'd never been paid to sing, but that I'd performed in public many times.

The bartender delivered my drink to Jeff, since he had ordered it, and when Jeff gave me the drink I thanked him sincerely. Then Jeff put his hand on my shoulder and said "You know, I like you. On top of being a great singer I can tell you're a good person." I tried to think of a way to respond that would shift the attention away from me, but all I could think of was to say "Well the 4 of you seem like good, friendly people too."

With his hand still on my shoulder, he then pulled me closer to him, slid his arm around my neck, looked me straight in the eyes, and said "You know, I'm about as straight as they come. And I'm pretty sure you're gay, but I don't care..."

I burst into laughter and replied "You're right; I'm about as gay as they come!" and then laughed some more. This time it was Colleen who interrupted the conversation. "Jeff! You shouldn't say that! How do you know he's gay? Besides, you shouldn't say that even if you do know it." Then she turned to me and said "Oh my god, I'm so embarrassed. You know, he's pretty drunk. Please don't be offended."

It struck me as quite perceptive of him (especially being drunk) to pick up that I was gay. I mean, I wasn't wearing gay-looking clothes or anything, and the gold band on my wedding ring finger sometimes throws people off. And I do have some gay-looking clothes, but I wasn't wearing them last night. I had on faded jeans, a long-sleeve white t-shirt with a short-sleeve blue graphic t-shirt on over top. That's pretty much what every guy (1/2 my age) wears these days! But I just laughed and assured Colleen that I was not offended at all.

As if he had only paused a second, Jeff was back at it again. With his arm still around my neck he said "I don't care if you're gay. I can tell you're a good person. I'm straight, you're gay, who the hell cares? We both put on our pants one leg at a time, right?" I replied "You're right. Really, we're a lot more alike than we are different. Honestly, I don't know why that bothers some people so much." Jeff pulled me even closer to him and confirmed "Well it doesn't bother me at all. You're 'good people'. I love ya, man." And with that, he pulled me so close to him that there was no place for my head to go but onto this chest. He rested his chin on the top of my head and held me in this position for what felt like an eternity, but was likely only a few seconds in reality.

If I could have possibly had any doubt about Jeff's drunkenness, it would have been completely removed by his uttering of that phrase "I love ya, man" followed by pulling into his bosom. I mean, isn't that the classic frat boy behavior? And again, if he weren't so damn sexy I could have been really annoyed by this, but since I found him to be so attractive it didn't really bother me. (How shallow does that make me?)

Colleen scolded him again and suggested it was inappropriate for him to hold onto me like that. Jeff slurred something like "He's mine..." but I'm still not quite sure what he was talking about. When he finally let me up, Colleen rolled her eyes and mouthed the words 'I'm sorry' to me. I just laughed and tried again to steer the conversation away from me and back onto them.

"Have you guys signed up to sing?" I asked. Colleen said that they had thought about it but hadn't decided on a song. I suggested they needed something that lent itself to a group, and then recommended 'Love Shack' by the B-52s. Colleen liked that suggestion a lot and quickly produced the little sign up paper with their names already written on it.

But Jeff was not finished proving to me and everyone else how much he valued our new friendship. As Colleen got the others to agree on 'Love Shack', Jeff said that it was a GREAT song for their group to sing. "Damn, you've got a great voice, you're a great guy, and you pick great songs!" Then he reached out, cupped my face in both of his hands, leaned over, and kissed me on the forehead!

I didn't know whether to be exhilarated or terrified! For a split second I thought about asking him why he didn't just kiss my lips, but I was afraid he would, which could have gotten messy. So instead I looked at Colleen and said "Just my luck. I'm in a bar full of gay guys but its a straight one who kisses me!" and we both laughed.

While all of this was going on, Jeff's wife Shelly had apparently gotten into a bit of a spat with some female patron who's wine spilled on her clothes when Shelly accidentally bumped her arm. Since Shelly was still upset from the altercation the group decided it was time to pay their tab and leave. Half of me was glad since this meant Jeff's attention was finally off of me, while the other half of me was a little sad that the evening's 'entertainment' was ending.

Each of the 4 put on their coats and hugged me goodbye. I gave Colleen a little peck on the cheek as I wished her a happy birthday again. Jeff's hug was big, solid, and manly. I'd be lying if I claimed it wasn't a wee bit titillating. And with that, they were off. I sang again, finished my drink, and was home by 11:30.

Since Spouse was only watching a home shopping channel, I made him mute the TV so I could tell him all about the unexpected adoration from my new friends, including Jeff's drunken gestures, which made Spouse get a little concerned. "I hope he wasn't trying to fool around with you. He didn't ask you to meet him in the bathroom, did he? " he asked. "Oh no, of course not" I replied. Then I reminded him that even if Jeff had tried, I would not have responded because I value our loving and monogamous relationship. I assured him that if I had not felt safe at any time, I would have left immediately.

Then, in an uncharacteristically sweet gesture, Spouse said "Well, I can hardly blame someone, gay or straight, for being attracted to you; you're so cute." My heart swelled, and I knew there just wasn't an adequate response to that. I just smiled, and we sat in silence for a few seconds. He unmuted the TV and we listened to watch Shannon drone on about the "Today's Special Value".


Crush du Jour: Danny Vox

8 comments:

David Dust said...

Which half of you was sad when they left - the bottom half?? :)

Oh honey - you are such a good Spouse. You know damn good and well you could have gotten a piece if you wanted one. Drunken "straight" boys are an easy score - especially if they have already kissed you and professed their undying love. And you ARE just about the most adorable thing ever invented!

XOXOXOXOXOXO

Breenlantern said...

you had me at "I ordered a Cosmo"

great story! if only the world were more like that drunk guy....

Stephen Rader said...

Damn! Sounds like I need to start hitting the karaoke bars!!!! Straight men who kiss you. Teach me how to make THAT happen!! :)

tornwordo said...

That sounds like a perfect night in the bar. Especially the free Cosmo you got out of it, tee hee!

Joy said...

That was so sweet with you and your spouse when you got home. It sounds as if you have a great relationship. I'm so glad!

Jeff said...

Nothing cuter than a tipsy straight boy - most of the time! Sounds like a fun night!

Bugsy said...

I absolutely loved this story! (Yes, I'm Gay! Not that you didn't know it!)

I think this is my most favorite so far! Can't wait to see you all!

Steven said...

A great story. But hey, it's got to be nice when you get noticed for your abilities. Time to bask in your own glory! I'm still adoring that pic of Danny Vox. ;-)