We went to Sorry Charlie's tonight and I remembered why it was such an awesome place. Working with Howard after so long with a karaoke machine is a little like having sex with a real person after spending a little too much time with a Hitachi Magic Wand. You have a routine down, but Howard has his own ideas about what's going on and the "rules" have gone out the door. Mysteriously, I got up to sing immediately after Howard's break (which he was on when we arrived), and I was worried that I was going to get Mean Howard when I decided to sing a tune from Cabaret instead of Chicago. He put his hand on the book (on "Razzle Dazzle," a somewhat dull song) and said, "So, are we or aren't we doing this?" But he went with it and did "Two Ladies," which I kind of flubbed (it is a song for three people after all - I did little falsetto voices for the "ladies"), but afterwards he was all smiles and good words and wanted to know what else I knew. I picked "Cry Me a River," the old Sea Wolf standard ("like Julie sings it"), and we danced a tight little dance together on it, him riffing off me, me riffing off him. I got really emotional toward the end (the song just does it to me), and the audience was very responsive. But the incredible thing was how effusive Howard was. "You were great! What is your name again? Spell that for me." It made me hate myself for not having been in there since Alisa moved back to Russia.
We spent the next hour nursing our drinks and pouring through songbooks, and I suffered as not one but two people sang "Summertime" well enough to make me glad I hadn't wasted its charms on my own little self. Finally it was a quarter after one and Worthy Opponent was chomping at the bit, so between yet another new arrivals songs I went up to say goodbye to Howard. "You must sing with Civic Light Opera and at the Village," he said to me. I was perfectly incredulous and told him he had to stop flirting with me like that, my voice isn't all that good (especially considering what the brunette driving the Falcon sung like ... I'm sure Worthy O would have hitched a ride with her given half a chance). And he said, "Oh no, you really can sing."
Gosh, shucks, I can't believe what he said is true, but it still makes me feel all happy that he said it. Am I really not ever going to get to go back?