PLAYING IT STRAIGHT
A lady is sitting at the bar with only a dubious looking martini in an odd shade of amber keeping her company.
She asks for Unforgettable.
Then holding up one French-manicured index finger, she specifically tells me to “play it like it actually sounds.”
“You know, instead of making up all of that other funny stuff.”
“I want to be able to recognize the tune,” she insists.
So I play it straight through.
I must have done a pretty damn amazing job of playing it straight because right before I can even finish the melody, she closes her eyes and slurs, “You must have a beautiful wife and kids to get home to after this, don’t you?”
With a completely straight face, amidst the turned faces of snickering co-workers and polite coughing of regular guests, I say yes, gently wish her, as well as the room, a pleasant good-night, and gratefully take the out to leave work for once a little ahead of schedule.
I can be honest with tempo and rhythm.
But sometimes, it’s a little harder to be honest with myself.
Not so much about my open identity but rather my private inner fears and doubts.
I commend though, through straight-talking prayer, that knowing there is someone so unforgettable who thinks that I am unforgettable too, helps. Incredibly.