you got to lose to know how to win.

six or seven years ago, driving from boston to new york, a friend, who occasionally writes about food, and i simultaneously began to sing (for the laughter and for the tears), matching vocals with aerosmith’s steven tyler on the band’s first single dream on. afterward, following the crescendo with its held notes, we sat silently, allowing our breath to return to its normal rate, noting the changes. for instance, the steering wheel was inexplicably adorned with multi-colored scarves. my friend spoke first, saying it was the gayest thing he’s ever done.

since then, we’ve both done gayer things (he now lives in san francisco) and he’s gained some weight (he eats the food he occasionally writes about), but that didn’t stop us from returning to our roots (you never know, maybe tomorrow the good lord will take you away), belting out aerosmith tunes at an atlanta restaurant disguised as a decent taqueria.

we waited, finishing our tacos, hoping someone would volunteer first for karaoke. for the night, our act took on the name prince and the bear, just one of many things that didn’t translate well with our audience. after a half hour of awkward dj rambling, we took the stage and not a single person turned towards us. our second song, whitney houston’s the greatest love of all, was met with similar nonresponse, even though we stepped up the crowd interraction to the point where we began taunting them for not joining, proving that atlanta will collectively fold its arms when faced with children who require a sense of pride to make it easier.

other patrons, exhorted by our lead, eventually flexed their vocal cords, fumbling lyrics but still eliciting approval from the audience. after a couple of more performances we walked back to the hotel through half-rain, pondering the fate of a world that refuses to understand us. even the dj, who should have been thankful that we paved the way for other singers, pretended there were no oasis songs in his collection when we inquired.

maybe it was just the city, or day of the week, or weather. maybe canada and mexico were not meant to unite in song. maybe it was because our hotel has a happy hour where they serve a nacho dip that borders on being diaphanous. maybe my critique is too harsh and undeserved though, and i should shrug it off, remembering that we live and learn from fools and from sages.

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One Response to “you got to lose to know how to win.”

  1. bree Says:

    now what I wouldn’t do to hear the rendition those fools ignored. fools. fools. I would’ve thrown my J Lo shorts on the stage.

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