I had been living in this town for three years and never had a date. I will get to the why in a bit. When I moved here it was the first time since junior high school that I had not been in a band as either a drummer or a singer. Music was always my hobby, my second gig, my secret identity.
During the first year I found myself looking for a social outlet since there was no music. I tried local jams and open mics, but nothing appealed to me. Then I stumbled upon Monday nights at my favorite bar. Now I am not going to name names or locations because this is true and I do not want to identify myself or embarrass me or my friends, since this is a true story.
When I found Monday night karaoke I was completely blown away. I mean, come on, Monday night? The night started late as well. The host did not kick it off until 10 PM. I asked why so late and he told me the history of the area and for some reason that no one could figure, no one went out before 10 PM. This was proven by the fact that at 10 there might be 5 people signed up to sing and by 11 the place was packed wall to wall.
Anyway, I stumbled upon this place and it was great. I know what you are thinking; karaoke, a mess of no talents with less vocal range doing “Don’t Stop Believing” and not being able to hit the high notes, but not here on Monday nights. I have a pretty good voice, but there were people here that could have made a living off of this, except for a few notable problems.
Well, not problems for me, but for the music world. The woman with the best voice was named Tess and she was considerably overweight. Music wants skinny, girls with voices like 12 yr olds. This woman could out do Adele, Whitney, Aretha or Annie Lennox or any other current pop diva with ease. But since she was round in shape, she would never be heard outside of a karaoke bar.
The guys that I fell in with were equally talented, but all had rather quiet personalities, except the one that was a county sheriff. They were all tenors and hit high notes with power. I hate tenors, they get all of the good songs! Kidding.
So this group of singers formed the core of “The Locals”. We would come in early and put in a list of songs that the host would choose from after reading the room. If it was a dance night he chose our songs that promoted dancing. If it was a somber night he chose love songs of cheating songs.
So I was a “Local” and that meant that everyone knew me. When they called my name those familiar would scream and shout and raise hell, like I did for them. My voice was deeper than all of the others and because of that I gravitated towards blues and Joe Cocker and some of the baritones that sang soul and R & B. Kids today have no idea of the power of Barry White or Teddy Pendergrass on a woman.
The only other problem was that I lived in a very young town. I do not mean that the town was recently formed; I mean that you could not swing a dead cat without hitting a thirty something. I am an older guy and these boys and girls were the same age as my daughter and son! The opportunity to date was just not available unless I wanted to feel like I was dating my daughter. I don’t swing that way.
The young lady that I spoke about earlier was a real sweetheart, but one of my rules of dating has always been that the female needs to be smaller than me. I find no attraction in not being able to get my arms around a woman. Another is that the woman needs to be prettier than me and while Tess was very pretty, she did fall below my line on the first point.
Now go back to the first paragraph and let me explain why I never dated. I married my junior high school sweetheart out of college. We were married for nineteen years when she told me her feeling had changed and she wanted out of the marriage. My feeling had not changed and twenty-two years after the divorce I still thought of her every day and if she had said the word, I would have dropped everything in my life to get back with her.
Therefore dating never made a hell of a lot of sense, because I could see no end to the game. I married another woman a few years after my divorce but it fell apart after one year because she finally figured out that calling my first wife’s name out during sex did not turn her on. So she left me. No pain there for me, at all. There was not a lot of feeling there. I never should have married her.
So I found myself in the midst of almost ten year monogamous relationship with Lefty. Me and Lefty became very close. Very close. We loved each other, with the help of the memory of my first wife. That is until this year.
I took my first vacation since moving here and spent a week in the town I had lived in when I was married. My son and daughter still live there as does the first ex. All of my very close personal friends not named Lefty lived there. Although I grew up on a farm, that town was really what I considered my home.
I had several friends die suddenly between Thanksgiving and Memorial Day and it threw me into a pretty bad depression. It was almost as bad as the two years after my first divorce. I knew how it was going to affect me, so I was smart enough to use my health insurance and I went to see a doctor, a psychologist, actually. He did a great job of opening me up and getting to the bottom of my problem.
I knew that I was still in love with my first wife, but he figured out that the real reason that I could not move on was not because I love the x, but because I was a stinking honorable guy. I had made a vow in front of God and everybody to love, honor and cherish her until death did us part. My moral character, yes I have a strong one, would not let me get past that vow.
He suggested that I get a hold of her and specifically ask her to release me from my vow. The signing of the divorce paper had released me from my legal duty, but not my internal moral duty. This was a great revelation. A huge light bulb lit up in my head and it shone upon a real solution to my problems. I realized that I could still love my ex, but her releasing me from my vow could set me free of my moral obligation and help me to not be IN love with her.
So I planned that on my vacation I would go home and meet her face to face and get past this whole thing. I flew into town on a Tuesday night, headed to the hotel and hit the sack. Early on Wednesday morning I contacted my daughter and asked for her mom’s phone number. She called my ex and asked for permission to give the number to me and my ex said no!
Ok! Did I mention that I had stopped paying attention to her for the last two years of our marriage? I was working so hard in my real, non-band profession trying to give her and the kids the things I thought they wanted, that I forgot the things they needed; like a husband and a father. She was still more than a little miffed at me because when we divorced I just treated her like she did not exist. That was because I loved her and every time I saw her or heard her voice, I found out that a completely broken heart can break some more. She read it as me being an asshole.
I asked my daughter to try again and explained the whole situation to her, asking that she not tell that to her mother. My daughter made the call, told my ex that she really should speak to me and within a few hours, I had my ex’s phone number.
Making that phone call was the hardest thing I had ever done. Yet for some reason, I was pissed when it went straight to voice mail. I left a heartfelt request that she let me take her to lunch or dinner because I really needed to speak with her about something very important. She never called back. She still hasn’t. After calling my daughter and explaining the situation I left it with her if she wanted to divulge the reason for my call to her mom.
That night I felt like the world had been lifted off of my back. I don’t know if it was the fact that I forced myself to actually make the call with the purpose of asking for a face to face verbal release of my feeling; or the fact that she did not return my call which let me know that she really could care less, but I felt free.
At 9 PM I headed out to a local bar where my former band had a gig. They did not know I was coming and when I busted in the door, it was really dramatic, they went nuts. When the fan base saw me, they went nuts and before you know it I was on stage singing with them and we tore the house down. Women were flashing tits and jumping up and down and looking sexy as hell and we rocked the place until close at 3 PM.
The next morning I woke up still feeling good, better than I should have with that hangover thing, and I called some old friends that I had not seen in years and we met for lunch at my favorite BBQ restaurant. The rest of the week was like that. Sit in with various bands that I had been friends with and eat really good food with old friends. No thoughts of the ex, at all.
On Sunday, I hopped on a plane and flew home, arriving at a little past midnight. A cab took me home and I crashed until 9 AM when I got up and showered so I could be to work by 10. Flexible work hours and being on salary are great!
Now I was facing Monday night with more energy that I had in the three years I had lived there. I had a great day doing my job and after dinner I headed out to the bar for karaoke. Everyone noticed the difference in my demeanor. I was ready for a great time!
So, I told you all of that so I could tell you this!
.... There is more of this story ...