Today, I go to karaoke. It's something I do once a week without fail, unless I have to work the next morning - then, all bets are off. There's a thing about karaoke though, there are many different reasons why I do it.
The Drum and Monkey is just a pub in the middle of the UIC campus, which makes it the type of place I'd never hang out in regularly. Oddly enough, the kids that hang out there, the staff, and the regular singers, are all pretty cool people. Sure there's the occasional douche nozzle, but for the most part, they are all cool. Unlike my usual hangout, no one has ever rubbed their rear end on me, or their front end for that matter, no one has spilled a drink on me, and none of the people that go to THAT bar have ever stalked me - at least not horribly.
The thing about the Drum and Karaoke is this... I'd been to karaoke at other bars before. I never felt comfortable. I always felt self-conscious, nervous, and anxiety ridden. There is something about the atmosphere of that bar that makes me feel perfectly at home. The regulars that sing on Tuesdays have become pals of mine, some of us have actually cultivated actual friendships and chill outside of the confines of that bar. There is just something spiritual about that place. I can't truly explain it. But I'm going to try.
The first time I went there was with a co-worker that I would normally not be hanging out with. We have different value systems, beliefs, ideals, and senses of humor. I was already a bit nervous going to karaoke with him because of this. Cest la vie, I went anyway. Because I knew no one, I just went up, put a song in, and waited. When Jim called me up there, I sang like there was no such thing as fear. And that's when they gave me my own nickname at that bar. From that moment, I became "Lisa Fuckin' G."
They've changed DJs multiple times since I've been going there, right now we're on number 3. Matt's pretty awesome. He doesn't even care that I'll call him a dick on the mic repeatedly. And he does a great job with the mix making sure that it's not just random songs in random order. And, he still calls me Lisa Fucking G. I have a friend who brings me new music without me even asking for it. I've even had to sing a song a cappella when the music wouldn't function. It was fun.
It's not about singing in public, or singing good songs - since most of the shit I sing there is horrible pop music. It's about releasing my entire week of tension in a way that's safe, and fun, and harmless. Rather than punch a bag, or a d-bag... I sing.
People clap. I go home.
I love Tuesdays. Here's to tonight.