The karaoke bar was dark and filled with cigarette smoke. I sat nervously awaiting the DJ to call my name.
My friends, Traci & Shyann, are sitting by me chatting with the handsome gentlemen at the table next to ours. They are probably too consumed with flirting and twirling their hair to notice my nerves. I have never sung. I take that back, I sing in my shower, I sing in my car. But I do NOT sing in front of other people, in a public place, much less an east Texas karaoke bar. I love music and my girlfriends have occasionally heard me hum along with the radio. They brought me here, intent on forcing my fear of public humiliation.
“Tawny?” The heavyset DJ practically bellowed my name into his microphone. I jumped and froze, scared out of my wits, at what was about to happen. My friends looked at me, beckoning me to go on up there.
“Tawny? Is Tawny still here?”
“YES! She’s RIGHT HERE!”Some friends they are.
Knowing I could no longer put off my doom, I pushed myself against the table and slid out of the booth. I stood up in my black stiletto heels and smoothed down the shimmery top over my black leggings. I slowly sauntered up to the stage, dodging loud drunks and chairs strew into the aisle. The DJ winked and snickered obnoxiously as he handed me a microphone and pointed at the screen, as if I was completely unaware of how the process worked.
Since Shyann had submitted the song, I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be singing. The beginning notes of one of my favorite country songs began to play, and I felt my foot tapping along with the beat. The words on the screen began to appear, and I lifted the microphone to my mouth, unsure of what was going to come out.
I closed my eyes and imagined standing in a hot, steamy shower with the radio playing my song. I gripped the microphone and began to sing like my inner country music star. I belted out the song about a cheating lover who is a liar. I moved to the left, I moved to the right, I felt the music overpower me mind, body and soul.
When the song ended, I opened my eyes and took a deep breath. I saw everyone staring at me and the hustle and bustle of the bar halted. I felt a smile slowly creep onto my face. I handed the microphone back to the DJ while his mouth hung open. I confidently grinned at him and sauntered back to my seat as the bar erupted in clapping and cheers.
Fear? What fear?